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. Finding a Rock to hide under.

    I would say those 35% know nothing of current events.

    April 22, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  2. Jay

    Any American who thinks the Israelis are acting reasonably when dealing with the Palistinians is blind to the inherent racism of their methods. I've lived in Israel, gone to college in Israel and worked in Israel. If you believe the Israelis are not racists, then you are not connected with reality. We deplore racism in this country. We should deplore it around the globe and call out other nations who institutionally practice it. And we should begin with our allies (although, I admit, perhaps we should begin by getting things right in our own back yard - yes, I'm talking about you, Arizona!).

    April 22, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. ART

    Isreal needs to stop its occupation of teritory that is not theirs, that is the only way any peace process can move foward

    April 22, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. Maria

    And for all the Jewish voters who drank the kook-aid and promises that obama offered them in payment for their votes...How's that Hopey-Change working out for you? You were duped big time and so were millions of others. Why didn't you open up your eyes and see what many of us saw from the onset -that this was a radical who you were sending to the white house?

    April 22, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  5. Mike

    nobama kicks our allies in the teeth and bows to the radicals. How can anyone support such an idiotic policy.

    April 22, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  6. barbara

    Duh I could uhave told you that long ago, pre-election era. geez, all you had to do was research, listen to all views, research some more and read much print media as possible. I will not say that I told you so because, obviously, dems do not listen!

    April 22, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  7. Ben in Texas

    Why are Americans fooled into thinking we should strongly support Israel? Surely, we all feel sorry for what happened during the Holocaust, which was an unspeakable atrocity. But the state of Israel has treated it's Arab population in a somewhat similar fashion to the way Hitler treated them. Not to that extreme, of course, but the Palestinians who were there before the Israelis are a downtrodden people under Israel. That plight has been a major reason for the rise of anti-American feeling in the region, and our military gifts to Israel, while giving only lip service to Palestinian rights, has cost us dearly in the Middle East.

    We need an even-handed approach. Israel should be subject to arm-twisting, and we should overtly help the Palestinians if we are to regain any respect in the region. Israel should not be seen as a sacred cow to Americans. They are an oppressive regime and should be dealt with as such.

    April 22, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. JIm,VIRGINIA

    O'bama is no friend of Israel.It gets in his way of being the president of the world !!

    April 22, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  9. Darnell

    Apparently the people that selected Oboy for the Nobel Peace Prize weren't polled.

    April 22, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. Me, In TX

    AND ISRAEL GETS A THUMBS DOWN FROM AMERICA!
    I believe the only country that actually wants peace in Teh Middle East is America. We have developed a peace process, had meetings and talks with various leaders and it seems that Israel is hindering the process with their new settlements.
    Why are we defending and helping these people anyway? It's not like they have been the best ally to us.
    I scoff at Israel's 'thumbs down' and ask how well would they get along with their neighbors without our support. Nuclear bombs will not solve the problems they have

    April 22, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. shucks

    Israel wants all the protection and money the United States offers and gives, but wants to be is own little rogue state. Can't have it both ways. I whole heartedly approve of the way this administration is handling Israel. Over and over again, the same as the Palestinians, Israel throws up roadblocks to middle east peace just the same.

    April 22, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. Thomas

    Proud to be in the 1/3 that supports the President in this. I is time we start holding Israel to its international responsibilities. It is also time for Israel to start demonstrating that they are our ally and not just accepting that the US is their ally.

    April 22, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. Steve

    All past United States mediated negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have failed.

    It's time for the United States to act in its own self interests in the Middle East and let these two intransigent groups find their own way out of the mess they created.

    April 22, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  14. Minnesotan

    I still don't understand why the USA sucks up to Israel, regardless of which party has a President in the White House? Israel is a war-mongering, nuclear state that abhors everybody. Screw Israel. Let's fix all the problems the Republicans left behind first!

    April 22, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. ba

    "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.
    "
    Not that I care either way -but for this to be a balanced article shouldn't it also quote the palestinian-american side too- what percentage think of the president's handling?

    April 22, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  16. larry

    shy should anyone in this country be a strong supporter of Isreal? We need to stop giving them money every year and they spit in our face. We need to let them take care of themself and see how far they get.

    April 22, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. MAD IN TEXAS

    Hes ruining our associations with every ally country we have. This man needs to go. Impeach him now.

    April 22, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. Tim Hagans

    It is easy now to see how Eve was deceived in the Garden of Eden. The same manner of speechifying and smooth talking is leading the world to destruction by Obama and his likes. Does anyone else believe he is the Anti-christ?

    April 22, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  19. Shibumi

    Same 35% that are cashing gub'ment checks every week.

    April 22, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  20. Marc L from NY

    The problem with Obama's approach to the Israeli-Palestinian issue is that he has not yet learned he can be the most reasonable, logical person in the world, but when you are dealing with a group of people that don't want to be reasonable, i.e. the Palestinians, then you are just spinning your wheels. I think history has shown this.

    April 22, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  21. Jason

    You know, I'm sick of Israel acting as if they are our only concern. How about them helping us to help them?? They are so one-sided.

    April 22, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  22. vs

    The question that should be asked is if Obama's stance on Israel correct considering what Mr. Netanyahu is doing. Not showing support for Israel does not nessarily mean that he is against it or doesn't value the country as a valuable ally. However, unconditional support is not beneficial to either country's best interest nor does it help improve the chances for resolving the Palestinian issue.judging from the questions posed, this poll is deliberatly engineered to generate animosity toward Obama.

    April 22, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  23. ran

    He is a strong supporter of Israeli people. It is Israel leadership that he has problems with and rightly so. They are as bad or worse as the Republicans to deal with. No peace will ever happen with Netanyahu as PM. Never going to happen.

    April 22, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  24. steven harnack

    I'm completely fed up with polls. It has been shown in many studies that polls can be easily rigged to show exactly what you want them to show, Add to this the fact that most people are ignorant of the facts about most everything but their job and who got kicked off american idol, and polls say 50% are wrong about that, and polls have become less than worthless. I believe most are trying to make opinions rather than show them.

    April 22, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  25. Larry

    I think the Obama is handling Israel very well.

    It's time we stop blindly following Israel and expect them to live up to their responsibilities concerning treaties they have made with the Palestinians. That includes no further expansions in east Jerusalem.

    The peace process goes both ways.

    April 22, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
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