US President Barack Obama
US President Barack ObamaIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Sixty five percent of the Jewish public in Israel – almost two thirds – believe that Jews in the United States should be critical of President Barack Obama's policy toward Israel, a poll has found.

Forty-six percent of Israeli Jews believed that the possibility that U.S. Jews will be accused of double loyalty is what makes them shy away from criticizing the Obama administration over its Israel policy. Thirty-six percent thought the double loyalty factor did not influence U.S. Jews and 18% either did not know or refused to answer.

The statistics are included in the annual Poll of the Israeli Public's Attitudes Toward Diaspora Jews, which is currently being carried out by the Kivun Institute for the B'nei Brith World Center. Five hundred Jewish adults in Israel were polled.

Fifty-four percent of the Jewish public thinks that pro-Israeli Jewish groups lobbying for Israel in foreign countries should always support the policy of the elected Israeli government. Twenty-eight percent believe these groups may oppose the policy overtly, and 18% said they do not know.

Fifty-seven percent of the Jewish public is opposed to a petition by European NGO JCall, against 'systematic' support by Jews in the Diaspora for Israel's policies. Thirty percent supported the position, however, and 14% were not sure or did not answer. 

Fifty-eight percent of Israeli Jews, the poll found, are worried by the reports that 2009 was a record year in anti-Semitic incidents.

Forty-seven percent said the prime purpose of the Jewish Agency is to encourage Aliyah to Israel, and thus disagree with JA head Natan Sharansky, who determined that the organization's main strategic goal is deepening Jewish identity among Jews worldwide. Thirty-five percent agreed with Sharansky's assessment of the JA's primary goal.