March 23rd, 2010
08:42 AM ET
4 years ago

CNN poll: Israel a friend and ally

 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with President Obama  today.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with President Obama today.

Washington (CNN) - With President Obama set to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House Tuesday afternoon, a new poll shows that most Americans consider Israel a friend or ally of the United States.

According to the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation released Tuesday morning, 41 percent of respondents consider Israel friendly to the United States but not an ally, while 39 percent characterize the Middle East nation an ally.

At the same time, 12 percent said they consider Israel unfriendly to the United States and 5 percent said Israel is an enemy.

Relations between the two countries have been strained by a dispute over the U.S. call for Israel to halt construction in largely Arab East Jerusalem. Israel recently announced plans to build 1,600 apartments on the disputed land.

U.S. officials argue that the decision damages efforts to move toward peace; Israel said similar construction has taken place through every administration and does not hurt Arab residents.

The CNN poll was conducted on March 19-21 through telephone interviews with 1,030 adult Americans. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Filed under: CNN poll • President Obama
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. phoenixjeff

    I would have said they were an Enemy

    March 23, 2010 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  2. GI Joe

    They want our money with no strings attached. That's it in a nutshell.

    Stop sending our money to other countries. And stop giving our jobs away.

    March 23, 2010 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  3. terry,va.

    Obummie is among the 5% that view Israel as the enemy. Obummie is a closet Muslim. He is hell bent on destroying this country.

    March 23, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  4. Al-NY,NY

    NuttyYahoo just wants the gravy train to continue...as long as the money keeps coming, he will not care what Obama, or any other politician of any party says about anything he and his government says

    March 23, 2010 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  5. Johnny DC

    The 5 percent that think Israel is an enemy remind me of the coaches in the NCAA Football polls that vote their own team #1 when everyone else has them #10 or worse.

    Translation: Arab-American votes shouldn't count if all they're going to do is blindly hate on a nation that defends itself (and freedom, and capitalism) against enemies on all of its borders.

    March 23, 2010 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  6. terry,va.

    Obummie needs to shut up. He is out of his league in all aspects of his job. Israel is building in their capital city, Jerusalem. Obummie is showing his true Muslim roots.

    March 23, 2010 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  7. smokey

    Since when has CNN ever done so much polling , and who are these people they are supposedly polling I wonder ??? More and more they are moving to the right with their seeming unbiased reporting...The only one to me that is a tru reporter and who actually reports the news without interjecting their opinions is Wolf Blitzer !!!!! CNN should just stick with the facts and leave the polling ever 10seconds alone...

    March 23, 2010 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  8. Jerry

    Since we have given aid to the tune of over one million dollars for every man, waman and child to Isreal not sure what the point of this story is. I thought Biden and Clinton had just finished apologizing to them already for saying mean things.

    March 23, 2010 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  9. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Israel is neither a friend nor an ally of the US. The country is utterly self-centred and is utterly indifferent to the effects of its actions on any other country–and it doesn't matter in the slightest if that "other country" is the US or Iran.

    Allies protect each other's interests. Israel is totally indifferent to American interests and is therefore not an ally.

    Israel will be "friendly" toward the US only so long as we keep protecting them and sending them billions of dollars–do we really need that kind of "friend?"

    We need to cut Israel loose. The country is sixty years old–when the US was sixty years old in about 1840, were we going begging to other countries for money and protection?

    March 23, 2010 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  10. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Isn't it strange how this administration treats our friends so badly and heaps praise and adoration on our enemies. I guess it is part of that hopey changey thing. What the heck, we are not going to have any resources left to fight a takeover by another country anyway by the time we get rid of this lying corrupt administration. That is why the eurotrash gave him the Nobel Peace Prize, for selling out his country so we can be weak and defenseless like those enlightened intellectuals.

    March 23, 2010 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  11. Sniffit

    I think it's time we change that. Israel has been nothing but a thorn in the US's side for several decades, and were probably behind 9/11

    March 23, 2010 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  12. CNN=corporate non-news

    How does an ally take advantage of us for decades? All the while they say they are committed to the cause of peace, while at the same time building settlements all over the place especially in territory that has been disputed since 1948.

    So when will Israel really be interested in sitting down to talk peace and compromise? Answer: when the whole of Jerusalem is occupied by thousands of Israel settlers – more appropriately termed "squatters". Yes, this is the action of our "ally". Despicable.

    If President Obama had any principles, he'd get Netanyahu in the Oval Office and open-hand slap that jerk so hard. Beat him like a red-headed step-child. But instead, he'll go along and tell Netanyahu that Israel has a friend in the U.S. blah, blah, blah. I thought this guy promised change; instead all we have is the same old appeasement.

    We should be ashamed for supporting Israel at this time (and in the future, because they said they will not stop settlement building no matter what we say). Our christian souls will burn in hell for this.

    March 23, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  13. Jerusalem Is What We Fight For

    Israel is not showing the international community that they are committed to peace. The building of the settlements undermines the entire peace process plus is inciting violence.

    March 23, 2010 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  14. The Calabash Kid

    In any shooting dispute, we must be on the side of the only democracy in the region. The US must always side with democracy over theocracies or dictatorships. Israel unfortunately has its share of fundamentalist lunatics, just like its Muslim neighbors. These lunatics are the real enemies of freedom. Muslim and Jewish fundamentalist nuts are much more like each other than they are like freedom loving ordinary citizens who just want a happy, safe life.

    I wish we could just let our gods settle their own disputes and stay out of their infantile wars.

    March 23, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  15. Ben in Texas

    I'm reminded of the old saw, "With friends like that, who needs enemies?" If it weren't for Israel, there would be peace in the Middle East, the U.S. wouldn't be troubled by Islamic terrorists, our deficit wouldn't be as large, and all the right wing Christers would have a harder time bringing about Armageddon.

    Israel is a nuclear power. They get tons of military and financial assistance from the U.S. They've pushed the Palestinians off their land and continue a process of slow genocide against them. And we support that. Is there any reason to wonder why Arab nations are constantly mad at us? We don't have a moral leg to stand on when it comes to our preference for Israel.

    Here is an excellent example of what a slanted news media can accomplish. The right wing media has convinced a majority of Americans that Israel is an ally. Incredible.

    March 23, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  16. JoJo

    Is not the US that need to show if Israel is an ally or friend. It is Isarel that needs to prove if it is a friend or an ally to the US. So far they haven't prove so. In matter fact I don't believe that Israel is an ally or a friend to any country but their own.

    March 23, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  17. Mike in NYC

    It's neither.

    The two countries have never signed a mutual defense treaty, so "ally" doesn't apply, and viewing another country as a bunch of useful idiots doesn't really fit the accepted definition of "friendly."

    This whole scrap is just theater, anyway.

    March 23, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  18. Jim in Florida

    Netanyahu knows that in reality Israel does not have a friend in the Obama administration. Obama talks the talk yet every significant move made by the Obamanistas in the Middle East has been a net negative for the Israelis.

    Not surprising. There is no way that a man like Obama, so closely associated with Black Liberation theology with a Muslim education as a youth – there is just no way this President is truly a friend of the State of Israel.

    March 23, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  19. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    We share many values with Israel such as rule of law and capitalism. We are based on many other ideals as well; parts of the world hate our very existance and the freedoms the we grant our citizens. They have our back and provide technologies that we use.

    March 23, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  20. Enough is Enough

    Israel is no friend. They spy on us they take our tax dollars and build illegal settlements on stolen land. Our blind support for Israel is used as a recruitment tool for the terrorists. How many Americans have died because congress is an occupied territory.

    March 23, 2010 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  21. JB

    How is the headline saying "Israel a friend and ally" when the actual poll says 41% consider Israeli a friend but not an ally, while 39% consider it an ally? Come on CNN, report the news and do not massage the headlines. It's a tight margin but you are still not being accurate.

    Good job guys.

    March 23, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  22. Dave

    They aren't a friend and ally to B. Huessein Obama.

    I would love to hear this conversation between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barry.

    Netanyahu is one the most intelligent and thoughtful people you could ever listen to. The guy can take the most intricate and confusing issue and make it sound so simple and clear.

    Meanwhile Barry will sit there and...... um........... wel................ um.............. at the end of the day.................. um...........

    Pathetic.

    March 23, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  23. Avg Guy in Red State Kansas

    Why on earth would the U.S. want to be friends with Israel? The country, which became a country using bloodshed to create a state by murdering British and Palestinian and innocent citizens, has been a bully for decades.

    Rather than trying to work out differences with the Palestinians, Israel has played the victim card beyond reason. It's not hard to understand why Palestinians have resorted to violence to try to regain a part of their previous state.

    I'm surprised only 12 percent see Israel as unfriendly to the U.S.

    March 23, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  24. JULES ROY

    atack iran nevermind obama he will never help you he is anti isreal
    so are most of his people inside the white house.
    good luck

    March 23, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  25. Dano

    You know I was wondering about that same thing this morning after reading about how Isreal will continue to build in Jerusalem no matter what the US says. Maybe someone can answer this question for me. How does it benefit America having Isreal as an "ally" in the Middle East. I know we send massive amounts of money and weapons to them every year, but what do we get in return for our investment?

    March 23, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
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