Americans: Israel an ally, relations will worsen

Thursday, July 22, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

A poll conducted earlier this month by Rasmussen Reports revealed that a firm 58 percent majority of Americans view Israel as an ally, despite growing efforts by ultra-liberal and Muslim movements to paint the Jewish state as a manipulative enemy.

Only 5 percent of respondents characterized Israel as an enemy, while 32 percent said the Jewish state falls somewhere in between friend and foe.

However, 31 percent of those surveyed said they believe relations between Israel and the US will significantly worsen over the next 12 months.

During the first half of this year, tensions between Washington and Jerusalem reached what some diplomats described as a breaking point as the Obama Administration harshly criticized Israel for approving routine Jewish building projects in the Israeli capital.

With a crucial mid-term congressional election approaching, Obama changed his tune and played nice with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the Israeli leader's recent visit to the White House. But most Israelis saw through the ruse, and continue to distrust the president.

After the election, Israelis fully expect Obama to renew heavy pressure on Israel to meet dangerous Arab demands for "peace." As his approval ratings dip, Obama is in need of a perceived diplomatic victory, and none could be greater than overseeing an Israel-Palestinian peace agreement.

But the past year has shown that as Obama cranks up the pressure, Israelis only become more hardened in their support for political parties that will not surrender to demands that endanger the future of their nation. The end result is political tension that could eventually trickle down to the masses.

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