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Polls: Israeli public follows Netanyahu to the right

According to the Jerusalem Post, only 12 percent of the Jewish public views President Obama as “pro-Israeli.” Israel Hayom’s poll has Netanyahu’s Likud party picking up five seats following the PM’s US visit

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can be satisfied with the result of his visit to the United States. A new poll published today shows growing support among the Israeli public for his positions regarding the two-state solution.

According to the “Hagal Hachadash” poll, published by the pro-Neatnayhu tabloid Israel Hayom, only 28 percent of the public support president Obama’s guidelines for a solution based on the 1967 borders. 61 percent supports the positions presented by Prime Minister Netanyahu in his speeches in Washington, those regarding a continued Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley and the rejection of a compromise that would divide Jerusalem into two capitals.

If elections were held today, Netanyahu’s Likud party would make gains, collecting up to 32 Knesset seats (it now holds 27). The rightist-Orthodox bloc would win 69 sets, while the center-left would hold on to an all-time low of 51 seats.

One interesting figure: Even in this poll, Kadima keeps its current 28 seats, indicating that Netanyahu won’t chip at Tzipi Livni’s base.

A different poll, conducted by the right-leaning Jerusalem Post, shows that only 12 percent of the Jewish public considers President Obama pro-Israel, while 40 percent of Israeli Jews categorize him as pro-Palestinian.

However, it is interesting to note that according to Israel Hayom’s poll, Obama is more pro-Israel than pro-Palestinian (38 to 37 percent), and a clear majority of the public – 68 percent – says that “president Obama is committed to Israel’s security.” Some of the difference between the two polls can be explained by the fact that the Israel Hayom sample included Palestinian citizens, while the Jpost had a Jews-only sample.

Haaretz‘s poll from Thursday had Netanyahu’s approval rise by 13 points.

A few notes regarding these numbers: Earlier this week I quoted a Maariv poll that had 57 percent of the public somewhat supportive of the positions outlined in President Obama’s speech. It seems that the readers who posted critical comments of this item were right, and the way Maariv framed the questions in the poll “tilted” some of the public towards more moderate positions.

At the same time, we did have a series of polls in recent years which had around half of the Jewish public agreeing to a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders. What I think we are witnessing now is a shift of the public to the right, following the positions expressed by Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Since Netanyahu became Prime Minister, he was urged to present his own diplomatic vision. The thinking was that the PM is strong enough, and the public will follow him wherever he goes. It seems that Netanyahu finally made up his mind: He basically rejected the two-state solution, and as expected, many Israelis went with him.

Where do we go from here? I’ll try to deal with that question in my next post.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Haim

      Netanyahu had accepted two states, loud and clear, with simple and reasonable conditions, thus hitting the G-spot of the Israeli consensus. You’ve dedicated yourself to advocacy of the Palestinian position, so, yeah, tough luck, I guess. One could be content with the fact that the total majority of the Israeli Jews through their elected leaders now accept the inevitability of the separation from the Palestinians and the removal of certain settlements, but you want total acceptance of the Palestinian demands, and that ain’t gonna happen.

      Reply to Comment
    2. abban Aziz

      Netanyahu is closer to the center than you think.

      He has compromised on many settlement issues, pledged to construct new settlements when not a single new one has been built since his election.

      His tough on Hamas campaign fell a part, aid to Gaza increased exponentially under Nentayahu.

      Israeli’s see a relative quiet in the WB, Gaza, Hezbollah is tied up in Syria and Iran well who knows.

      The Palestinians will do the best they can to hijack the UN to get more aid money (like they really want a state LOL!) and Obama simply wants to mend ties with the Muslim world by standing up to Israel.

      Bush 1 did it, Clinton did it, Bush 2 did it.

      Americans couldn’t care less about the Palestinians even with their large profile and propaganda budget.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Dannecker

      President Obama is correct in that the world is tiring of Jewish stubbornness. Hopefully the day will come soon when israelis are transported bakc to Brooklyn and Belarus by a UN flotilla led by Britain, Iran and Turkey

      Reply to Comment