April 22nd, 2010
10:28 AM ET
5 years ago

Poll: Obama gets thumbs down on Israel

One third of Americans approve of how President Obama is handling the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, according to a new poll.
One third of Americans approve of how President Obama is handling the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, according to a new poll.

Washington (CNN) - Only a third of Americans approve of the way President Obama's handling the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, according to a new national poll.

A Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday morning indicates that 35 percent of the public gives the president a thumbs up on how he's dealing with the situation between Israel and the Palestinians, with 44 percent saying they disapprove, and just over one in five unsure.

This stands in contrast with how Americans feel about Obama's overall handling of foreign policy, with 48 percent approving and 42 percent saying they disapprove.

According to the poll, two-thirds of Jewish voters disapprove of how the president's handling Israeli-Palestinian relations, with 28 percent saying they approve. Jewish voters were big backers of Obama in the 2008 presidential election, with exit polls indicating that nearly eight of ten backed the Democratic candidate.

Two-thirds of people questioned in the survey say that the president should be a strong supporter of Israel but, by a 42 percent to 34 percent margin, voters say Obama's not a strong supporter of Israel.

Relations between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and the Obama administration have soured in recent months over Israel's continued housing construction in East Jerusalem.

Israel seized East Jerusalem from Jordan during the Six Day War in 1967, and considers it part of its sovereign capital - a claim not recognized by the international community.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the future capital of their state.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted April 14-19, with 1,930 registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: Israel • Middle East • President Obama
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Tom

    Obama is doing exactly what is required. Israel would do well to recognize that they (as the oppressed) have now become the oppressor. Israel needs to stop supporting the right wing hawks and "settlers" who are really nothing more than "squatters".

    Israel continues to live a double standard. They rely on a sense of humanity to come rushing to their defense without question, yet they cannot offer any sense of humanity to those living under her iron grip.

    This impossible contradiction is entirely unsustainable.

    April 22, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. Larry

    Israel is the one sooooo deserving of many thumbs down

    I am so glad an American president is taking a more deserved attitude towards the Terrorist Nation of Israel

    Thank you Mr Obama !!!!!

    April 22, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. David

    Not a good foreign policy president. And adding Ol' Joe as your VP because he was supposed to be a foreign policy ace hasn't really helped. This guy was snatched up by the elites to be the prez. It becomes more and more evident.

    April 22, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  4. 3lizabeth

    Being a strong supporter of Isreal does not mean we let them do whatever they want while we continue to pay them $3 billion a year.

    April 22, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  5. Bill

    The uneducated American public needs to realize that Israel has slapped us in the face. We should not back down. We should never back down.

    April 22, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  6. cjr

    we have to stop or reduce our financial support of Israel – we don't need them and they need to grow up. It is a losing deal

    April 22, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    I really dont beleave it would make a hill of beans who is president when dealing with the middle east these people are hell bent on self destruction and no words or deeds from any one man or nation can change there course .

    April 22, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  8. Jim in Florida

    Is this a surprise to anyone? Shocked you say?

    Goodness, look at Obama's life and his associations. There was no way, no way, that Obama would be or ever will be a friend of Israel.

    This poll only serves to document what many of us knew would be the case, even before Obama's election.

    April 22, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  9. Michael

    I do not believe this poll! Here we go again CNN whose repuglicans pollsters are polling mostly repuglicans and repuglicans faining as independents! This poll is so unreliable! November elections will show just how popular President Obama really is, inspite of CNN and Foxnews sinister polling and propaganda machine backed by Rupert Murdock! CNN, as long as John King, Candy Crowley and Erik Erickson is on your team your credibility is on a downward spiral! The main reason is how ineffective they are when questioning repuglicans and Tea party members!

    April 22, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. Terry from West Texas

    So what exactly is Obama supposed to do that he is not doing? Anyone who imagines that there is an approach to the Middle East that will be quickly successful wasn't paying attention in history class.

    I agree that when push comes to shove, we will support a modern democracy over a dictatorship or a theocracy.

    April 22, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. Doris V

    Seems to me that he is trying to do a nearly impossible thing. The Israeli government has done plenty of nasty stuff to the Palestinians. The Palestinian government has done bad things also. Seems that all of them need to get along better.

    April 22, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  12. Victim of GOP Taliban

    20% unsure? What else can Obama do if Israel refuses to compromise and continues to open new settlements. Quit blaming Obama and start to question whether or not Israel sincerely wants peace. It's time to pull the plug on the crazy $ we spend on supporting Israel until they begin to get serious.

    April 22, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  13. Keith in Austin

    What do you expect from Barry Hussein Obozo! Rooted in Muslim belief, he despises the Jews deep down!

    April 22, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. Dale

    Hey Israel – Don't feel bad.....

    He's not a strong supporter of America either.

    April 22, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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