Netanyahu addresses Masa Israel participants
Netanyahu addresses Masa Israel participantsAmos Ben Gershom/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu remains a very important public figure in the eyes of US citizens.

The Brookings Institute has published the results of a recent survey in which they were asked to "list the five American or international leaders that you most admire." US President Barack Obama came in first, followed by former President Ronald Reagan. Third place went to Prime Minister Netanyahu, ahead of Pope Francis and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Among Evangelical Christians, Netanyahu is the most popular leader in the world, receiving 16 percent of the votes. Eleven percent chosen Reagan, and 10 percent Obama. Among Democrats, Netanyahu's popularity rose by 12 percent since the last such survey, and his popularity remains stable for Republicans.

The survey questioned 1,738 people and showed that Democrats and young people view Israel's policies and Prime Minister in a more negative light. Republicans and older people support Israel; some even praised Netanyahu and criticized the radicalization of Palestinians.

At the same time, more and more people in the US say that they believe the Israeli government has "too much influence" over US politics.

When asked about the recent wave of terror, Democrats identify more with Palestinians, though not exceptionally so. Most Republicans say that the Palestinians are to blame for the current situation.

An additional interesting question focused on how the US should respond to increased building in Judea and Samaria. Thirty-one percent of respondents said that the US must limit itself to verbal criticism, and one in four people claimed that the US does not need to do anything about the issue.

When asked about who is to blame for the deteriorating security situation in Israel, 31 percent said that it is because of a lack of diplomacy. Twenty-six percent said that it is due to Israel's actions in Judea and Samaria, and an equal amount said it is because of Palestinian extremism.