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Survey: Jews back Obama, Bibi

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NEW YORK (JTA) — A solid majority of American Jews support Barack Obama’s and Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of U.S.-Israeli relations, according to a new survey.

The "2010 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion," commissioned by the American Jewish Committee, found that 55 percent of U.S. Jews approve of Obama’s handling of relations with Israel, with 37 percent disapproving. Netanyahu scored slightly better, with 57 percent approving of his handling of relations with the United States and only 30 percent disapproving.

The survey involved a sample size of 800 self-identifying Jewish respondents and had a margin of error of plus/minus 3 percentage points. Interviews were conducted by the firm Synovate (formerly Market Facts) between March 2-23, as tensions between both governments heated up over a building start in eastern Jerusalem announced during a visit to Israel by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

Obama’s overall approval rating among Jews was 57 percent, with 38 percent disapproving.

According to the survey, 64 percent of Jews think Israel should, as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians, be willing to remove at least some of the settlements in the West Bank. But 61 percent rejected the idea that Israel should be willing to "compromise on the status of Jerusalem as a united city under Israeli jurisdiction."

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