If Israelis had had the opportunity to vote in the U.S. elections last November, there’s no doubt as to who the winner would have been — by a landslide. A new poll by Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institutes shows that nearly half — 49.5 percent — of Israelis termed outgoing President Barack H. Obama as “unfriendly” to Israel. That will change radically on January 20th, they believe; 69 percent of Israelis polled said that incoming President Donald J. Trump will be the opposite of his predecessor.
The poll of 600 Israelis of all ages and backgrounds was a scientifically determined sample of the entire population of Israel, the organizations said. The poll was part of an ongoing series used to indicate the “Peace Index” of the Israel Democracy Institute.
73 percent of those polled said they believed Trump would support Israeli policies on construction in Yehudah and Shomron, while a lesser number — 47 percent — said they took Trump at his word when he promised to move the American embassy to Yerushalayim.
In a related question, 53 percent of Israeli Jews said that the recent U.N. Security Council resolution against Israeli settlement policy was a specifically anti-Israel resolution. Only one third said that the resolution was a sincere protest against a policy that the Security Council members truly disagree with out of principle. Similarly, 41 percent said that the reason the U.S. abstained in the vote was because of Obama’s dislike of Israel. 34.5 percent said that it was a principled stance.
As far as Russian leader Vladimir Putin is concerned, Israelis believe that he is not a “lover of Zion.” 38 percent said that despite the positive relations between Israel and Russia, the best Putin could be termed regarding Israel is “neutral.” 25 percent said that they felt he had positive feelings for Israel, while the same percentage said that he disliked Israel.
In general, and despite politics, the large majority of Israelis are satisfied with their lives, the poll showed — with 70 percent saying that they were optimistic regarding their personal futures.