Poll: Obama’s message getting through to Israeli public, Netanyahu losing ground

Posted: March 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, Polls, The Settlements, the US and us | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

A poll published today by Maariv revels a sharp decline in PM Netanyahu’s approval ratings, which drops to an all-year-low of 41 percent, with 53 percent of the public now stating that they are “dissatisfied” with the PM.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak also pays the price for his support of Netanyahu’s extreme government, with approval ratings of 38 percent. If elections were held today, Barak’s Labor would have dropped to an all-time-low of 8 out of the Knessets’ 120 seats. Kadima would have remained the largest party with 29 seats, one more than Likud.

These last figures are very telling. Contrary to what the PM and his supporters want us to believe, applying pressure on an extreme Israeli government does bring results. Until the recent confrontation with the US Netanyahu and Barak were riding high in the polls and Kadima was losing ground and getting torn by internal politics; but now the public is concerned by the idea of losing American support (48 percent saying that “Israel’s international statue is deteriorating”) and is not happy with the road Netanyahu is leading this country.

More important, even though most of the public still thinks there is no partner for peace on the other side, 46.2 of Israelis are now accepting the idea of splitting Jerusalem between Israel and Palestine (that’s more than those objecting it) – not at all the consensus around the idea of a “united Jerusalem” like Netanyahu and AIPAC would like us to believe.

President Obama might not be very popular with Israelis these days, but they are certainly listening to what he has to say.

5 Comments on “Poll: Obama’s message getting through to Israeli public, Netanyahu losing ground”

  1. 1 Michael LeFavour said at 3:21 pm on March 30th, 2010:

    How do you know the Israeli public is not losing patience with Netanyahu for giving in to unreasonable Obama demands, like restricting any amount of Jewish growth in the cradle of Judaism?

    But even more important, do you honestly believe a poll from the self hating fringe, Maariv represents average Israelis?

  2. 2 noam said at 4:58 am on March 31st, 2010:

    Michael – we know that because of the fact that it is Kadima that is getting stronger, not the radical right. if the public wanted Netanyahu to stand against Obama, rigthwing parties would have gotten stronger in this poll.

    as for the credibility of the poll – we now had three polls, from Haaretz, Yedioth and Maariv, claiming on the same week that Neatnayhu is getting weaker and the public split on the question of Jerusalem. there is still room for error, but most chances they did capture something right.

  3. 3 Yehuda Lev said at 7:45 am on April 3rd, 2010:

    Funny Noam. That is not the attitude we are having here in the south. You know about the south? The place where the rockets and mortars keep falling? We want a strong leader who is not intimidated by American and EU pressure. If Bibi is slipping in the polls here it is because we fear he is showing a lack of resolve. Yes, most Israelis are centrists but not when it concerns Jerusalem and we know when someone is trying to push our backs against the wall. And as a former supporter of Meretz I know left wing spin when I see it.

  4. 4 noam said at 9:47 am on April 3rd, 2010:

    thanks for the comment Yehuda. I was suspicious of the polls myself, but after we had four in a row, I feel they might be on to something.

    if what you say is true, and Bibi is slipping because of ‘lack of resolve’, we should have seen a right-wing surge, but this is clearly not the case.

    than again, polls are just polls. I wouldn’t put them as spins, but you should always take them with some salt.

  5. 5 Yehuda Lev said at 12:04 pm on April 3rd, 2010:

    I have lost faith in polls a long time ago and can only comment about where I live. But just because we do not trust Obama and do not like Bibi’s hesitation does not mean we are suddenly leaning politically right. But given the choice between someone who will fight for Israel and someone who will sell us out, I’ll back the fighter even if he/she leans to the right.