A poll published on Friday showed that while Israelis appreciate their country's alliance with the U.S., they have a different opinion altogether of U.S. President Barack Obama.
The poll was conducted by Bar Ilan University, the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and the Anti-Defamation League and was a follow up to similar polls taken in 2007 and 2009.
According to the results, 70 percent of those polled see the U.S. as a loyal ally to Israel, and 90% feel that the U.S. would come to Israel's aid during an existential crisis.
Despite the generally positive attitude towards the U.S., the respondents had a decidedly more negative view of President Obama. Since the 2009 poll, the percent of those seeing him in a positive light dropped from 54% to 32%, while those who viewed him "very unfavorably" rose from 14% to 23 percent.
The poll reflected a lack of confidence in Obama's foreign policy in the Middle East. Forty-one percent stated they are not satisfied with Obama's handling of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; 53% felt that Obama's policies regarding the Arab Spring were erroneous, and more than a third of those polled (38%) stated that they think Obama has weakened the United States' standing the Middle East.
The topic of the upcoming presidential elections, slated for November, was also covered in the poll. With regards to the future president's impact on U.S.-Israel relations, 30% felt that if Republican nominee Mitt Romney won there would be improved relations, while only eight percent believed that if Obama was re-elected the relations would improve.
According to the poll, two-thirds of Israelis have a positive outlook on American Jewry and Israel. Sixty percent felt that American Jews continue to be close to Israel (a marked rise from 2009 in which 45% felt that way). However, 36% felt that American Jews do not have a right to freely and publicly criticize Israel or Israeli policies under some or all circumstances.
540 participants took part in the poll to represent the adult Jewish population in Israel, with a standard deviation of 4.5 percent.