President Obama, America, and the Middle East… Pew Numbers are in.

There is a new Pew Poll out (dated 5/09/13) regarding the Middle East, America, President Obama and attitudes regarding the Peace Process.

Here are some of the highlights…

n Israel – Despite claims by the bigots on the Right and divestment people on the Left, Israel is indeed a friend of the U.S. Our nation (the U.S.) enjoys an 83% favorability rating in the eyes of Israelis. In contrast the U.S. only has a 16% favorability rating amongst Palestinians. This is important to point out since the anti-Semites and Lunatic Fringe inhabitants tend to think that Israelis are lukewarm to America at best, particularly since President Obama has been in the White House.

Of course there are more numbers than this. Despite the deranged bleating of our own (the Zionist) Right Wing a strong majority of Israelis (82%) feel that U.S. foreign policy is either Fair (47%) or Favors Israel (35%), not too bad a rating for an administration who (according to the Lunatic Fringe) supports the Muslim Brotherhood and Jihad against Jews.

But there’s more. According to the poll, President Obama enjoys a 61% Approval rating amongst Israelis with only 36% saying they don’t approve. Here are the Pew Findings:

“Israelis and Palestinians also differ on views of Obama. About six-in-ten (61%) Israelis express confidence in the American president to do the right thing regarding world affairs, up from 49% in 2011. In the Palestinian territories, just 15% have confidence in Obama, while 82% have little or no confidence in him


In Israel, opinions of Obama are far more positive among Jews than among Arabs. More than six-in-ten (64%) Jews express confidence in the American president, compared with about half (48%) of Arabs.


Secular Jews in Israel are especially positive in their views of Obama. About seven-in-ten (71%) secular Jews have confidence in Obama to do the right thing when it comes to world affairs, compared with 56% of Israeli Jews who describe themselves as traditional, religious or ultra-Orthodox.”

Overall (as the numbers show) it seems that Israelis in general and Israelis Jews in particular understand that President Obama is a strong friend to Israel. But, here was an interesting number that I didn’t expect to see and was heartened by… Strong pluralities of both Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews feel that the Presidents role in peace negotiations… wait for it… SHOULD BE LARGER.

Now for some other numbers.

On the Peace process things are not quite as rosy. In answer to questions regarding favorability of Fatah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad all three received favorable views but Islamic Jihad was favorably viewed by 56% of the Palestinian Polity. This is hardly encouraging since both Hamas and Islamic Jihad advocate for the elimination of Jews both in the Middle East and in the World.

Further, while 50% (50-38%)  of Israelis think that they can live peacefully with their Palestinian neighbors in a Two State relationship, only 14% of Palestinians think the same way. Moreover a plurality – 45% of Palestinians think that Armed Struggle is the best way to gain a state, they say this more than any other single option and given the favorability of Islamic Jihad – that is seemingly the way that they would go.

As for the settlements, a plurality of Israelis think that they harm Israeli security (42%) while a minority (27%) think that they help. Amongst the Arabs this number is (4% vs. 84% – help to hurt ratio). BUT one thing that they are doing, as can be seen from the numbers is contributing to Israel’s lack of favorable numbers with it’s E.U. trading partners.

Generally what we are seeing here is a strong trend of Pro-American favorability and sympathy amongst Israelis towards the U.S. while there is a growing antipathy amongst the Palestinian population. The disturbing numbers are the Palestinian numbers which reflect a turn back towards radical failed means to achieve statehood and a simple non-interest in seeing a compromise solution.

Still, it is heartening to see that BOTH Israelis and Palestinians favor a larger presence by the Obama Administration in particular and by the American government in general. As I have long maintained the current Administration is a strong friend to Israel and I believe now we can see that the Israelis are realizing this as well.

About the Author
Jon Segall is creator of the blog The Progressive Zionist. Jon has lived in Israel and studied Israeli and American Policy in the region. Currently Jon, is re-learning Hebrew, and is an active practitioner of the Israel Self Defense Martial Art Krav Maga.