Thursday, December 10, 2009

Poll: Netanyahu trusted to secure Israel's interests; Obama liked but not trusted

(Reuters).A poll by the Washington-based New America Foundation found that 41 percent of Israelis had a favorable rating of Obama against 37 percent who rated him unfavorably. Despite this, 55 percent of Israelis polled said they thought Obama did not support Israel against 42 percent who said he did.

"They genuinely admire and like him ... but at the same time they also want to feel that he is in their corner, and they have concerns over this," pollster Jim Gerstein said in an email message.

The poll found that while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a modest 48 percent approval rating, he was deemed strong on all issues related to security -- indicating potential support for any deal he might strike with the Palestinians. "Netanyahu's security image translates into 59 percent support for 'any agreement Netanyahu reaches with our enemies,'" the poll report said.