Tags: obama | israel

Just 4 Percent of Israelis Think Obama is Pro-Israel

Friday, 28 Aug 2009 08:54 AM

Only 4 percent of Jewish Israelis believe President Barack Obama's policies are pro-Israel, and 50 percent oppose a temporary freeze of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, a poll out on Friday showed.

The survey showed 51 percent considered Obama's administration more pro-Palestinian than pro-Israeli, as compared with 50 percent in June, the Jerusalem Post said.

The percentage of Jewish Israelis who consider Obama as pro-Israel was down to four percent from six percent in the June 19 poll. By comparison, 88 percent of those interviewed for the June survey thought former U.S. President George W. Bush was pro-Israel.

Obama has pressed Israel to freeze settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, causing friction with the close US ally. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted natural growth makes a total halt of housing construction in settlements impossible.

The issue of settlements, which the international community considers illegal, is seen as one of the major hurdles in Middle East peace efforts.

Asked whether they would support a one-year freeze, which has been raised as part of efforts to push forward the hobbled peace process with the Palestinians, 50 percent of the opinion poll's respondents said no and 41 percent said yes.

The Smith Research poll was conducted this week among 500 Jewish Israelis and has a margin of error of 4.5 percent.


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