US eases demands, but Israelis still don't trust Obama

Friday, August 28, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

The Obama Administration was seen on Thursday to be slightly easing demands that Israel halt all settlement activity as a precondition for renewed peace talks, but a new poll showed that most Israelis still don't trust the new American president.

Speaking to reporters in Washington, US State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said that Washington's positions regarding the building of Jewish homes in areas claimed by the Palestinians had not changed, but that the Obama Administration was ready to be more flexible and certainly wasn't going to impose conditions.

Crowley added, however, that while the US was ready to be more flexible, it would be up to the Arabs to decide if they were willing to restart peace talks even while new Jewish homes are being built. For anyone familiar with the conflict, that is a non-starter that the Obama Administration is certainly not in the dark about.

But even with Obama trying to distance himself from the hardline demands on Israel and the right for Jews to live where they choose, a poll conducted this week on behalf of The Jerusalem Post revealed that a mere four percent of Israelis believe the American leader is looking out for their interests.

Fifty-one percent of respondents said they view Obama's policies as overtly pro-Palestinian, and 35 percent said the US president is managing to maintain a neutral position.

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