Israelis say Obama Admin overreacted to Jerusalem building

Friday, March 19, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

Two separate Israeli polls conducted on Thursday revealed that 75 percent of Israelis feel the Obama Administration's response to a new Jewish building project in Jerusalem was exaggerated and disproportionate.

The hostile rhetoric coming out of Washington in response to the approval of 1,600 new apartments in the northeastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo has caused some to say Israel-US relations are at their lowest point in over 30 years.

One of the polls, which was conducted by the Ma'agar Mohot polling center, also showed that 63 percent of Israelis felt the Obama Administration had put peace even further out of reach by being so openly harsh on Israel.

Severe American criticism of Israeli moves that enjoy Israeli public support have traditionally led to an increase in Arab antagonism and violence and a hardening of Israel's willingness to compromise.

Israeli lawmakers from across the political spectrum also expressed disappointment at Washington's behavior toward Israel over the past week, and urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stand his ground.

In a letter signed by 78 of the Knesset's 120 members, Netanyahu was encouraged to hold fast to Israel's long-standing policy regarding control of Jerusalem when he visits the US next week.

Netanyahu is scheduled to attend the annual AIPAC conference in Washington, and Israeli lawmakers fear he will come under intense White House pressure while he is there.

The letter of encouragement was signed by MKs from all the parties in the current government, as well as members of the opposition Likud party. Only the three Arab parties and the radical left-wing Meretz party did not support the letter.

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