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

Video Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had warned storm could be one of worst in city history More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid