According to a Keevoon Research poll sponsored by The Jerusalem Post this week - US President Barack Obama succeeded in reaching out to Israelis with his speech last Friday to the General Assembly.
When asked about the Obama administration’s policies, 54% said they were more favorable toward Israel, 19% said they were more pro- Palestinian, and 27% called them neutral.
The last Smith poll, published on May 27 following a high-profile Obama speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, found that just 12% of Israeli Jews considered the Obama administration’s policies more pro-Israel, 40% said they were more pro- Palestinian, 34% said neutral and 13% did not express an opinion.
“President Obama’s speech at the UN had a very big impact on Israelis,” Keevoon director Mitchell Barak said. “He clearly stated support for key elements of the Israeli position while avoiding articulating some of the controversial US positions that divide Israelis. For Israelis, his speech at the UN was as much about what he didn’t say as it was significant for what he did say. The active role of the US in blocking a Palestinian state at the UN was also a significant turning point for how Israelis perceive the Obama administration.”
Barak also singled out the appointment of new US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro, who is Jewish, speaks Hebrew, and has reached out to the Israeli population to explain Obama’s positions.
The poll also asked whether respondents view Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, opposition leader Tzipi Livni and new Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich favorably.
Fifty percent said they viewed Netanyahu favorably and 45% unfavorably, while 5% did not know.
The prime minister did especially well among Likud voters, with 85% viewing him favorably.
Lieberman was viewed favorably by 47% and unfavorably by 46%.
Yacimovich fared the best out of the politicians, with 56% seeing her favorably and 26% unfavorably.
Livni was the only one of the leaders of the four largest parties who is viewed unfavorably by the general public - 39% viewed Livni positively and 50% negatively.
If an election were held now, Likud would remain the largest party, rising from 27 to 32 Knesset seats, Labor would rise dramatically from eight to 26, and Kadima would fall from 28 to 18.
Israel Beiteinu - 10, Shas - 9, Meretz - 6, Habayit Hayehudi - 5, National Union - 4, United Torah Judaism - 4, and a new social welfare party would win 4 seats.