News / Middle East

Arab Ire Directed at US Policy, Not Obama, Poll Shows

James Zogby, President of the Arab American Institute, Marwan al-Muasher of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Barbara Slavin of the Atlantic Council in Washington D.C. on June 3,2014 (Photo taken by Mohammed Elshinnawi VOA)
James Zogby, President of the Arab American Institute, Marwan al-Muasher of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Barbara Slavin of the Atlantic Council in Washington D.C. on June 3,2014 (Photo taken by Mohammed Elshinnawi VOA)
Mohamed Elshinnawi
“Despite the persistence of negative attitudes toward several U.S. polices in the Arab world,” there has been an increase in Arab support for U.S. President Obama, according to a recent Zogby poll.
 
Five years after President Obama’s address in Cairo to the Arab world , Zogby Research Services surveyed some 7,000 Arabs in six Arab countries: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Jordan,  Lebanon - as well as the Palestinian territories.
 
The survey released in early June found U.S. favorable ratings in the Arab World remain well below the 50 percent level.
 
President Obama has a favorable rating in UAE of 26 percent , 22 percent in Egypt, 19 in Saudi Arabia and Jordan and 11 among Palestinians –better than the 9 percent support level that former President George W. Bush had during his last year in office, according to Zogby.
 
When President Obama took office in 2009, surveys show about 30 percent support in Egypt, with similar ratings in other Arab countries.
 
James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, commissioned the poll. He said “the softer footprint of the U.S. under Obama compared to the heavy interventionist approach that President Bush adopted in Iraq” is helping in keeping President Obama’s ratings at low levels in the Arab world.
 
Zogby said some drop in President Obama’s popularity in the Arab world over the past five years is primarily due to a sentiment among many Arabs that he has not met expectations as outlined in his Cairo speech on U.S. relations with the Arab world – especially concerning the Mideast peace process.
 
“When the president laid down the 1967 borders as a basis for resuming the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, he was humiliated by his own Congress who invited Israeli Prime Minister to come to Congress and reject the president’s initiative,” Zogby said.

“The president is facing a partisan block that is preventing him from making a difference, in solving the Arab-Israeli conflict,” he said.
 
The poll looks at the major issues driving Arab attitudes toward the United States, including U.S. policy on the Syrian conflict, Egypt's interim government, negotiations with Iran, the two-state Israeli-Palestinian solution, and U.S. commitments to improving ties with the Arab World.
 
According to the poll, Arabs believe the Obama Administration has been most effective “in ending the U.S. presence in Iraq and working to end Iran’s nuclear program” but least effective “in improving relations with the Arab and Muslim Worlds and in handling the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the Arab Spring.”
 
Arabs in many countries believe that “the U.S. is not even-handed in its approach to Palestinian-Israeli peace-making and have very little confidence that the U.S. is committed to an independent Palestinian state,” surveyors said.
 
The poll suggests that across the board, resolving the Israeli-Palestinian issue is the most important factor that could improve Arab attitudes toward the U.S. –a relationship many respondents said they want see strengthened.
 
“The most striking figures were that strong majorities ranging between 60 to 83 percent say it is important for their Arab countries to have good relations with the U.S.,” Zogby said.
 
The survey showed strong support in the Arab world for a “negotiated solution” to the Syrian conflict, one led by the United States.
 
“Seventy-six percent in Egypt and close to 50 percent in most surveyed countries support the U.S. approach of pressing all Syrian parties to enter serious negotiations leading to a transitional government.” said Zogby.
 
Barbara Slavin, an analyst at the Atlantic Council, found that part of the survey surprising.
 
“The most striking outcome was the high percentage of Arabs who do not want the U.S. to get involved militarily in Syria and want it to stick to humanitarian assistance and pursuing a political solution,” said Slavin, who is also a paid Voice of America commentator.
 
As for U.S. policies in Egypt, many of those surveyed said the Obama administration was “too supportive” of ousted Egyptian President Mubarak and “not supportive enough” for his Islamist successor Mohamed Morsi, who was later ousted in a military coup.
 
Opinion was divided on whether the U.S. has shown too much or not enough support for the current interim government in Egypt.
 
Paul Salem, an analyst at the Middle East Institute, said President Obama’s Mideast policies reflect his goals.
 
“President Obama is not an idealist to try to achieve some dream of democracy or human rights like Jimmy Carter, but he is a foreign policy minimalist focusing on what directly impacts or threats the U.S., so democracy promotion is not his goal.” Salem said.
 
And the poll numbers reflect that, pollster Zogby said.
 
“There is a sharp decline in Arabs confidence that the U.S. is committed to democracy across the Middle East.” Zogby said.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: PermReader
June 07, 2014 1:42 PM
Arabs-islamists have understood at last who is Obama-the Islamists-collaborator1

by: Anthony Bellchambers from: London
June 05, 2014 10:18 PM
Netanyahu is turning Israel into a rogue state at a frightening rate. It is now all too clear to the international community that Netanyahu is not only a warmonger but a warmonger with a secret arsenal of nuclear weapons. There is now but little doubt that this is where WW3 will start.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs