Ramat Shlomo neighborhood
Ramat Shlomo neighborhood Israel news photo: Flash 90

A lopsided plurality of 42 percent of Israelis view U.S. President Barack Obama as pro-Arab, and only seven percent see him as pro-Israel, according to a new Brain Base (Maagar Mochot) poll released on Monday. Thirty-four percent of the respondents are reserving judgment, with a neutral view.

Results of the survey point to clear support for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and criticism of the Obama administration’s reaction to Israeli plans to continue building for Jews in parts of united Jerusalem that the United States and the international community refuse to recognize as being under Israeli sovereignty.

Nearly two-thirds said they support Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to continue to build in all of the capital city, while only 26 percent oppose it even though the majority also expressed the opinion that it will lead to more pressure from the United States.

A similar percentage of respondents believe that the Obama administration over-reacted to the announcement of progress in plans to build 1,600 new housing units in the Jewish neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo. Only five percent of the respondents said that the American criticism of the project would help the diplomatic process, while 59 percent said the criticism will hurt the peace initiative.

The survey also covered the subjects of a nuclear Iran and the issue of whether to cede the Golan Heights to Syria. A plurality of one-third expressed dissatisfaction with the American efforts to deal with the nuclear threat, and only 26 percent were satisfied. An overwhelming 82 percent of those surveyed said it is "naïve or simplistic” to think that Israel and Syria would conclude a lasting peace if Israel were to surrender the Golan Heights.

Similar sentiment was registered in the United States in a recent Israel Project poll, which showed an 8 to 1 margin of Americans saying that their government should side with Israel in the conflict with the Palestinian Authority. Those favoring support for Israel cited the Jewish State’s being the only democracy in the Middle East, and others emphasized the alliance with the United States.