(JTA) — Jewish approval of President Obama is dropping, a new national survey found.
Some 49 percent of U.S. Jews approved of the Obama administration’s handling of U.S.-Israel relations, according to a just-completed American Jewish Committee survey, the fall 2010 Survey of American Jewish Opinion, and 45 percent disapproved.
An AJC survey conducted in March gave Obama a 55 percent approval rating to 37 percent disapproval.
It was the first time the AJC commissioned two surveys in the same calendar year.
In contrast, the view of how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is handling U.S.-Israel relations has improved. Some 62 percent of American Jews approved and 27 percent disapproved, according to the new survey. In March, 57 percent approved and 30 percent disapproved.
Overall approval of Obama’s performance as president dropped to 51 percent, from 57 percent in March. Obama captured 78 percent of the Jewish vote in the presidential election two years ago.
American Jewish confidence in Obama’s approach to Iran also has fallen, with 43 percent approving of the administration’s handling of the Iran nuclear issue compared to 47 percent in March. Some 46 percent disapproved, up from 42 percent. Some 59 percent supported and 35 percent opposed U.S. military action to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Some 70 percent supported and some 26 opposed Israeli military action.
A series of questions regarding the Arab-Israeli peace process yielded results similar to previous surveys, showing continuity in American Jewish views of a Palestinian state, the status of Jerusalem and West Bank settlements.
Like the March results, the new survey found that 48 percent favored and 45 percent opposed the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Regarding the dismantling of West Bank settlements as part of a permanent agreement with the Palestinians, 6 percent said all should be evacuated, while 56 percent said some should and 37 percent said none should be dismantled.
A majority of American Jews, 60 percent, continued to support a united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, while 35 percent said Israel should compromise on the city’s status in a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
American Jews remained nearly unanimous, at 95 percent, in supporting a proposal requiring Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in a final peace agreement. In March and in 2009, the figure was 94 percent.