Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reports that, according to a new poll examining Israeli attitudes toward President Obama, “a sweeping majority of Israelis think his treatment of this country [Israel] is friendly and fair.” The poll found that 51 percent of Israelis say Obama is “fair”, and 18 percent say he’s “friendly.” Another 21 percent find him hostile. By comparison, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party is losing ground:
The paper linked the shift against Likud to frayed relations between Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama over Israel’s continuing settlement expansion in the West Bank, but did not present findings on the Israeli leader’s personal popularity.
It said a majority of 64 percent felt that the Netanyahu coalition’s policies “do not represent” their wishes.
The poll is the latest evidence rebutting conservative claims that Obama is unpopular in Israel. In December, a poll (pdf) commissioned by the New American Foundation found that 52 percent of Israelis “believe that Obama’s election is good for addressing the world’s problems,” and that Obama had an overall 41 percent favorable/37 percent unfavorable rating, which was stronger than Israeli opinions toward the Israeli Defense and Foreign Ministers.