Israelis like U.S., Skeptical of Obama

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JERUSALEM, Israel - A poll, sponsored by Bar-Ilan University's Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and the Anti-Defamation League, revealed that Israelis like the U.S, but they have less affection for President Barack Obama.

The survey, under the direction of Professor Eitan Gilboa, showed that younger Israelis -- aged 41 and under -- are more skeptical of the U.S. President than the nation's older citizens.

"The main point arising from the poll is concern regarding Obama's policies," said Prof. Gilboa, who heads Bar-Ilan's international communications department.

"Obama has been in office for 100 days now, and this is cause for concern since people still haven't figured him out," he said.
 
"On the other hand, he has done quite a few things in these 100 days, like reaching out to Iran, warming up to Syria, and [putting] pressure on the Palestinian plane, which have also raised concerns," he said.

"This poll has revealed that Israelis make a distinction between the United States and President Obama and his policies," Gilboa said.

"They [Israelis] have less fondness for him than they have for the U.S. and display a certain degree of mistrust in him," he said.

Compared with a similar poll taken in 2007 in which 73 percent of Israelis believed former President George W. Bush was friendly toward the Jewish state, only 38 percent believe that Obama has the same predisposition toward Israel.

Regarding Iran, 66 percent of respondents support a military strike if diplomacy fails, while 15 percent opposed an attack.

Sixty-three percent of those polled said reconciliation with the Arab and Muslim countries would come at Israel's expense, while 71 percent said U.S. and Israeli interests complemented one another.

The Maagar Mochot research institute administered the survey, which has a 4.5 percent margin of error, among a representative sampling of 610 Israelis aged 18 and older.

Source: YNet News

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