Many Israelis regard Obama as pro-Palestinian, poll finds
Many Jewish Israelis believe US President Barack Obama is pro-Palestinian, a poll published Friday by the Jerusalem Post showed, DPA reported.
The poll said 48 per cent regarded Obama as pro-Palestinian while 9 per cent saw him as pro-Israeli.
The Jerusalem Post commissioned the Smith Research Institute to question 500 Israelis Sunday and Monday after weeks of heightened tensions between Obama and Israel but before the crisis intensified during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to the White House.
Thirty per cent of Israelis said his administration was neutral and 13 per cent expressed no opinion in the survey, which has a margin of error of 4.5 per cent.
Among Israelis who considered themselves right wing, a large majority (72 per cent) saw Obama as pro-Palestinian.
Nonetheless, the number of Israel's Jews who see Obama's policies as pro-Israel has risen somewhat over the past year, from 4 per cent in another Jerusalem Post/Smith Research poll in August, and from 6 per cent in June.
In the August poll, the number of Jewish Israelis who believed the Obama administration was more pro-Palestinian than pro-Israeli was a majority of 51 per cent.
The June poll was taken shortly after Obama reached out to the Muslim world in a Cairo University address, and 50 per cent of those sampled considered the administration's policies more pro-Palestinian than pro-Israeli.
Obama had appeared to receive better numbers in a survey published March 19 in the Haaretz newspaper, in which a majority described his policies as either "to the point" or "friendly."
According to the Israeli media, Obama in his talks with Netanyahu this week listed a series of tough demands, which commentators have argued, if met, could bring down Netanyahu's right-leaning coalition. The media are quoting a Netanyahu adviser as saying that among Obama's demands was a freeze in construction in East Jerusalem and a two-year deadline to peace negotiations from the moment they begin.
Netanyahu, who returned from Washington late Thursday, was expected to submit his reply by Saturday, the reports said.