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Israelis believe ‘cool’ US-Israel relations are Obama’s fault

by Shmuel Rosner

September 13, 2012 | 8:02 am

Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama meeting in New York, September 2011. (Photo: Reuters)

Last week I shared with you the Panels Politics' poll in which Israelis demonstrated their support for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama. Take a look if you haven't yet seen the extent to which Likud and right-wing (and religious) Israelis would be disappointed by Obama's reelection.

The survey, though, had another question of interest: Who, in your opinion, is responsible for the cool relations between Israel and the American administration?

Leaving aside the reasonable doubt on the way this question was framed (should relations be defined as "cool"?), the answer given by Israelis is still interesting. Forty-three percent blame Obama for the "cool" or not warm relations, and 38% blame Netanyahu.

Like with the Obama-Romney case, the breakdown of the numbers is where one can really see how Israel is divided over the American question. The more religious the Israeli, the more he is convinced that Obama is the one to blame:

 

Netanyahu

Obama

Secular

31%

40%

Traditional

20%

48%

Religious

3%

71%

And as for political tendencies:

 

Netanyahu

Obama

Likud

5%

77%

Right of Likud

7%

67%

Center-left

41%

35%

 

One noteworthy point: Even among those blaming Netanyahu for whatever difficulties Israel faces in Washington, about half do not want the current president for a second term (21% of Israelis prefer Obama over Romney). These Israelis might be of one of these two persuasions:

A. They blame the prime minister for the poor relations, but still don't like Obama's policies,

Or,

B. They think the policies are fine, but that relations between these two leaders are unsalvageable, hence the need for a clean slate.

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