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

Poll: Obama gets thumbs down on Israel

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/22/art.obama.0412t.gi.jpg caption ="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. Dean

    People do not approve of much of anything that Obama does.

    April 22, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  2. David in Houston

    Cut the cord already...

    April 22, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. Patty Farren

    Obozo threw the Jews under the bus. I cannot believe that they were dumb enough to believe this shyster. I hope come November 2010 and 2012, that they will see the light and vote against him and his supporters. He is the worst POTUS we have ever had.

    April 22, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. Otto

    How do they feel about the other Presidents? H W Bush, Clinton, G W Bush; did they also received the thumbs down?
    There's hardly anything a US President can do to find solutions for that conflict; it will go on as long as the world last.
    Neither sides wants peace and neither will give up their main goals (The Holy City) in order to make peace.

    There will always be conflicts, wars, killing but one thing is certain; they will never see peace. Until both sides set aside their hate and demands; they are just about going around in circles, like a headless fowl. Peace? Never!

    April 22, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. Capt. Snarky

    This is one I don't understand. Why Obama insists on snubbing Israel, our ally. When did they become the enemy and Hamas become our friend. I didn't see the Israeli's jumping for joy after 9/11, did you? The President is seriously screwing us on the international stage.

    April 22, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. hongli

    The Leaders of Israel are acting like "Spoiled Brats" and I'm glad to see that SOMEONE is finally standing up to them. It's time for them to "SHAPE-UP " or "SHUT-UP". Finally after Israel Takes out the Nukes Sites in Iran America will have no need for them.

    April 22, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. Mr. Meteoritical

    What does Israel do for us? Besides giving the General Dynamics F-16 to the Chinese? Israel is a dead-weight albatross around our neck. Let the Israelis handle their own affairs with their own money. We've been carrying them for too long to our own detriment.

    April 22, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  8. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    Unfortunately, MOST Americans are not aware, nor informed enough to know what Israel is up to! Their injustices, their bullying. We give Israel, $3 BILLION a year in aid! Money that can be used to help our Nation's schools.

    People do not understand that you can support Israel, without agreeing with them!

    As long as Israel continues to bully the Palestinians, they will never know peace. Israel's flawed policies just create more terrorists!

    April 22, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  9. Bertina

    This is an absurd poll, I don't even think a third of America understands the relationship between Israel and the US.

    April 22, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Touchy subject. However, where has our "support of Israel" gotten us?
    I realize that she is the only democracy in that part of the world, but, I also feel as if our support has been taken for granted by Israel, as something that will always be there no matter what the circumstances.

    IMHO, we have to take care of home first. I don't want troops or money going to Israel. I think they need to negotiate with Palestine on their own and without counting on our military to back them up. I'm not privy to any back room deals we may have with them, but from my perspective at this particular point in time, Israel needs to step up to the plate and deal with Palestine like the independent country they claim to be.

    We've got our own crazy issues right here at home, and I appreciate the fact that we have a President that is taking care of home FIRST>

    April 22, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  11. Sue


    Well, in regard to those who do not approve of Obama-–the Jewish people will just have to get in line.

    Obama insults and back stabs our allies, including Israel-–yet, bows and kisses the rings of our enemies. In regard to Obama missing the funeral of the Polish President--do you think that Obama would have missed a funeral NO MATTER WHAT-–if it was some dictator/king from a Muslim country???

    Has everyone seen Obama's approval numbers??? He is going down faster than a lead balloon. Yet, there are Democrats who are still having him campaign for them.

    April 22, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. Liz the First

    We don't need to be strong supporters of Israel. we need to be honest, neutral brokers if we ever hope to achieve peace in the Middle East. the christians are only supporting Israel as a means to an end, their 'second coming' fantasy. this is not something we need to be building foreign policy around. we don't need to be backing a bully. if we weren't standing behind them, i wonder if the Israelis would still be proviking the Palestinians every chance they get. we need to support a two-state solution and i think Jerusalem needs to be an international city, owned by none and open to all, run by the UN. they just can't play nice and share over there so thier toy needs to be taken away.

    April 22, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. Avi Shlomo

    NOT surprising considering our history of racism and they way we treated Blacks, Japanese, Indians and eeven our unabatted support od racist south Africa. we continue to ignore the rights on which this country was founded as they are not applicable to those who are not of our self image. Congratulation America

    April 22, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. IAB

    Where did you get this figure from the Jewish Community? There will never be peace in the area until the US stop favoring Isreal. Isreal has treated the Palestians poorly. We don't hear about this. Pres Obama is listening to both sides trying to be objective, listen to both sides. We can not be partial we have to weight both sides, listen to ALL. I've heard a Rabbi speak about what is going on in the EAST and he said Isreal is not being far when it comes to the treatment of the Palestians and I agree.

    April 22, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. R.B.

    Do those same voters say that Israel is a strong supporter of the USA?

    The USA is for Israel.

    Israel is for Israel.

    Given that dynamic, and though Israel is an ally, I think President Obama has done a fine job. Our interests and the welfare of OUR soldiers come first. It's only FAIR.

    April 22, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  16. IKHAN

    fabricated polls as always.
    Americans are realizing more & more the folly of supporting Israel at the cost of our geo-political interests.

    April 22, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  17. Vic of New York

    Goes to show how different people are entitled to their opinion.

    I see No value in the relationship with Israel. They are for all intent and purposes a welfare state of the U.S. It strikes me as strange that so many on the Right insist that we should not "support" our own citizens who are out of work – yet they are willing to use our taxes to pay for Israel's Welfare Check.

    If anything my disapproval is that the President is NOT TOUGH ENOUGH on that country.

    April 22, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  18. Renee

    Israel is not the 51st state. They are a sovereign nation with enough firepower to take care of themselves. I personally do not agree with how they handle their situation in the Middle East, but I also don't think the Palestinians are exempt from blame for the situation.

    I wish people would stop expecting the US to back Israel no matter what Israel does.

    April 22, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    I wonder how the good citizens of Canada would react if we in Minnesota decided to spread out beyond the Canadian Boundry Water border, set up American settlements, and declare the settlements sovereign to America?

    America should NOT be placed in the position of forced acceptance to all of Netanyahu's demands. It is for Netanyahu and his administration to work WITH America, not against America.

    April 22, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. Realist

    Who Cares? President Obama indeeds support Israel, however; sometime they take U. S. support for granted. Israel needs to support themselves and end this mess. Its sad that every President comes into office and has to deal with the Israel-Palestinian conflict. How much longer does a U. S. President has to deal with that crap. Get over it. I don't blame him for not giving it a lot of attention. It's about time we had a president to focus on the homeland instead of trying to mediate problems of other countries. Let them go at it and maybe they would get rid of the trouble makers and peace will abound. Sometime duking it out is needed. A supporter of the state of Israel, but not for agreeing to everthing they do and treating them like a spoiled child.

    Obama 2016

    April 22, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. Vet(DC)

    I applaud the President, the US has been a puppet for Isreal for too long,even when they spied on us, they continue to receive top military arments,intelligence and financial aid, they continue to thumb their nose at any resolution from the US. They have been condem by every nation in the world for their dispictable treatment of the Palestinians. The only support and friend they have is the US and a large financial lobbyist with blinders on in the US who are quick to criticize anyone who speak the truth about Isreal. What security or strategic value do Isreal offer the US?absolutenty nothing, How many wars have they assisted and fought side by side with US solders ? None. How long must the US continue to turn the other cheek?

    April 22, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. carlos

    strong support for israel???????...what a joke........they are the biggest problem the US has in the middle east......ARROGANT ones

    April 22, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  23. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    He gets a thumbs down on EVERYTHING else too!

    April 22, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  24. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Why in the world should "the president should be a strong supporter of Israel?" Israel is no supporter at all of the US.

    As an "ally," the country is worse than useless. All Israel ever does is take, take, take from the US, billions and billions of dollars in economic and military support, and the only thing the US gets out of the deal is perennial condemnation for condoning Israel's murderous predations on its neighbours.

    The US should have cut Israel off decades ago, making it accept alone responsibility for, and the consequences of, its incessant attempts at Palestinian genocide. But it's never too late–Obama would be doing the US a big favour by ending all military and economic support for the biggest bully in the mid-east.

    April 22, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  25. Milbank

    The left is the biggest group of anti-semitics in the country. Obama is the leader and of that group so what did you expect. He did not choose sides yesterday as this is their long held view that Israel is unwortthy of our support and they demonize them at every turn. Relations with Israel (our best ally in the middle easst) are on ice until Obama leaves office.

    April 22, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
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