A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, December 11, 2009

New America Foundation Poll Suggests Israeli Attitudes Not as Hardline as Portrayed

Before taking leave for the weekend, an interesting survey: the idea that President Obama is deeply unpopular in Israel and that Prime Minister Netanyahu has little room for maneuver due to domestic attitudes is challenged by a new survey published by The New America Foundation and Gerstein/Agne Strategic Communications. Their summary is here, and I quote:
The results of New America Foundation’s national survey of 1,000 Israelis reveal a very different picture from the narrative that has taken hold regarding Israeli attitudes toward President Obama and American efforts to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. Despite repeated media reports touting a “4 percent Obama approval rating” and arguments that the United States has lost the Israeli public’s support for renewed peace efforts, Israelis actually demonstrate a much more supportive and nuanced view of President Obama, and there is solid backing for an American-sponsored final status agreement along the lines of where the parties left off nine years ago at Taba and in the recent Olmert-Abbas negotiations. The survey also shows that Prime Minister Netanyahu has a great deal of political space to sign a peace agreement with the Palestinians, including within his own Likud party.
You can find the full survey here (PDF) and their analysis of the results here (PDF). It certainly offers a much more positive take on Israeli attitudes than many media reports and subjective impressions.

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