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.