Israeli views of Obama increasingly unfavorable

Monday, October 15, 2012 |  Ryan Jones

With the US presidential election just a little more than one month away, and with Israel becoming a bigger election issue than ever before, Israelis themselves have an increasingly unfavorable view of President Barack Obama.

A poll commissioned by The Jerusalem Post revealed that a 28 percent plurality of Israelis today view the Obama Administration as siding with the Palestinians and wider Arab world in their conflict with Israel.

Only 18 percent see the current White House as siding with Israel, while 40 percent were unsure. Traditionally, the vast majority of Israelis have viewed the US government as siding with the Jewish state against its antagonists.

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The Post has been conducted the same exact poll since Obama officially took office in 2009. In the first poll, before Obama really sunk his teeth into the Israeli-Arab situation, 31 percent of Israelis believed that Obama, like his predecessors, would be pro-Israel, despite the fact that most Israelis also believed him to be a Muslim.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has only thinly veiled the fact that he would prefer challenger Mitt Romney to win the American election, and at the weekend Netanyahu took another shot at the incumbent Obama.

Speaking to the blog of the popular journal Foreign Policy, Netanyahu's special envoy to the US and Europe, Zalman Shoval, blasted Obama for his weak approach toward Iran's nuclear program.

"The Obama administration's 'red line' is wavering and the Iranians are reaching dangerous conclusions from that," said Shoval, who is a former Israeli ambassador to the US.

Romney has repeatedly accused Obama of "throwing Israel under the bus" when it comes to the Iran threat. It would seem Netanyahu agrees, and would like the American voters to take that into account next month.

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