The Blog

Poll: Israeli Jews Disapprove of Obama on Syria, Iran

4:48 PM, Sep 13, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Israelis aren't too impressed with the way President Barack Obama has handled the situation in Syria, and they aren't too confident in the American president's ability to deal with a nuclear Iran, either. That's according to a new poll, the Algemeiner reports:

In a new Israel Hayom poll, a majority of Israeli Jews—66.7 percent—characterized U.S. President Barack Obama’s handling of the Syria crisis as “not successful.” Meanwhile, 65.3 percent said that given Obama’s conduct regarding Syria, he would not be able to successfully deal with the Iran nuclear program.

A plurality of Israeli Jews—49.7 percent—said Obama’s decision to delay a military strike against Syria was wrong, while 32.8 percent said he made the right choice.

In the latest issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, Elliott Abrams writes about the lessons Israel can take from the administration's actions over the last few weeks:

The most sobering lesson for Israelis has been the unreliability of their own chief ally and closest friend. They watched the administration pressure Prime Minister David Cameron into a quick and risky parliamentary vote and then change course​—​so that his defeat was entirely unnecessary. They watched us turn President François Hollande from momentary hero into a butt of jokes. They were stunned by the Obama reversals that led him to talk of strikes at Syria, then demand a congressional vote, then postpone it when he saw he would likely lose. And they saw Putin maneuver around these changes to a proposal that could help keep his ally Assad in power and fend off American strikes indefinitely.

As with the pro-American Arab states (such as Jordan, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia), these developments leave Israelis deeply nervous, but they realize American policy is unlikely to change for the next three years. What to do, then? First, keep humoring the Obama administration, seeking to maximize influence in its counsels. That means verbally supporting Obama on Syria even as his policy gyrates, and continuing negotiations with the Palestinians despite near-universal skepticism about the talks among Israelis. With policy changing by the day, who knows? Maybe those White House guys will occasionally listen to advice; worth trying.

Read the whole thing here.

Recent Blog Posts