Poll: Obama 'The Worst US President for Israel'

Overwhelming majority of Israelis think current US administration is 'pro-Palestinian' - but there's still some hope...

Ari Soffer,

Who, me? President Barack Obama
Who, me? President Barack Obama
Reuters

Israelis overwhelmingly view Barack Obama as the worst US president for Israel in the last 30 years, a poll has shown. And while that result may come as no surprise, the degree to which respondents viewed Obama negatively is certainly remarkable.

The survey was conducted by veteran pollster Menacham Lazar of Panels Politics, and the results revealed by The Jewish Journal's Shmuel Rosner, who helped draft the survey.

The poll asked Israelis who they thought were the best and worst presidents for the State of Israel in the past 30 years.

A full 63% of Israelis voted for Barack Obama as the worst-ever president. Trailing at a distant second was former president and current outspoken anti-Israel activist Jimmy Carter, with 16%.

Carter's repeated attacks against Israel earned him the cold shoulder from senior Israeli officials, with both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin refusing to meet with him during a planned visit to Israel. But Israelis apparently agreed with the assessment recently offered by one New York Assemblyman that Obama is far worse than Carter.

12% of respondents said they didn't know, while George Bush Senior came in at third place, with 4% of the votes.

But despite Democratic presidents taking the top two spots in that list, Israelis are clearly not partisan.

When asked who they felt the best US President of the last 30 years was, a Democrat came out on top as well: BIll Clinton, with 37%. Close behind him in second place was Obama's predecessor, Republican George W. Bush, with 33%. Ronald Reagan, another GOP President, came a distant third with 8%.

A similar number of respondents to that question said they "don't know" (11%).

When asked whether they thought Obama was "Pro-Israel", "Pro-Palestinian", or "Neutral", a full 60% said he was pro-Palestinian - compared to 47% who felt the same about the Obama administration in 2012.

Only 9% think the current White House is "pro-Israel."

Unsurprisingly, among respondents who identified as "right-wing" even more (77%) felt Obama was pro-Palestinian; among religious Israelis that percentage was higher still (81%).

But even among left-wing respondents, just 16% felt the current US president is "pro-Israeli," while 33% felt he is pro-Palestinian, and 46% "neutral".

Left-wingers also echoed the general results vis-a-vis the "worst president" for Israel: Obama came top with 35%, followed by Carter with 21%.

However, perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the survey was the following nugget:

Interestingly, approval of Carter is compatible with age: the older the respondent, the higher percentage Carter gets. There's an obvious reason for this - the older the Israeli, the more he or she remembers the Carter years.

For many Israelis that will provide at least some consolation: in years to come, they'll probably forget about Obama too.




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