JERUSALEM (JTA) — A majority of Israeli Jews have a positive view of the United States, according to a new survey.
Some 72 percent of respondents described their attitude as Israelis toward the United States as positive or very positive in a poll conducted by Professor Eytan Gilboa of Bar-Ilan University on behalf of the Anti-Defamation League and Bar-Ilan’s BESA Center.
Some 38 percent of respondents called President Obama’s attitude toward Israel friendly or very friendly, down from the 73 percent who said the same about former President George W. Bush in a similar poll. Another 23 percent called Obama’s attitude neutral.
Nearly half of the respondents, 48 percent, believe the Obama administration will be able to maintain friendly relations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, according to the poll.
Some 63 percent of respondents believe that Obama’s intention to bring about reconciliation with the Muslim and Arab worlds to improve the U.S. reputation and standing will come at Israel’s expense. Some 16 percent said it will not come at Israel’s expense and another 21 percent had no opinion.
On the subject of Iran, 66 percent of respondents support Israel taking military action if diplomatic and economic efforts fail to shut down the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. Another 15 percent oppose such military action, and another 19 percent did not know.
The telephone poll of 610 Jewish Israelis over the age of 18 was conducted the last week of April and has a margin of error of 4.5 percent.