Tense relations between the United States and Israel are having a
negative effect on Israeli public opinion.
A new Jerusalem Post poll shows
that only 4 percent of Israeli Jews see U.S. President Barack Obama's
policies as pro-Israel. That is a drop of 2 percent from the previous
poll in June.
The survey found that 51 percent of Israelis see the
Obama administration as pro-Palestinian, while 35 percent consider it
Mr. Obama has lost popularity in Israel because of
American pressure to halt Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank
and East Jerusalem.
"There's quite a bit of concern and
disappointment in President Obama, in the sense that Israel [is] sort
of under attack on all of these settlement issues, on Jerusalem," said
Israeli analyst Dan Diker. "And I think that many Israelis are saying,
'Well wait a second, where is the friendly U.S. administration that
Democratic and Republican administrations have been known to be?'"
Obama's supporters say he is trying to take a more "even-handed"
approach to the Middle East conflict than his predecessors. But his
outreach to the Muslim world, and especially his landmark speech in
Cairo in June, are seen by many Israelis as an attempt to appease the
Arabs at the expense of the Jewish state.
"President Obama has
been all over the Middle East, he's been in Turkey, he's been in Saudi
Arabia, he's been in Cairo, and giving major speeches, and he has not
spoken to or with the Israeli people or really sort of extended his
hand as a partner in this entire process," he said.
a much more positive view of President George W. Bush. According to a Jerusalem Post poll in May, 88 percent of Israelis considered Mr.
Bush's policies to be pro-Israel.