Poll: Israelis Think International Community Biased Against Them

YERUSHALAYIM -

The latest sampling of Israeli public opinion indicates that most Israelis do not think their country is to blame for the incessant international criticism of it, The Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday.

The poll, conducted by Smith Research for Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policy, found that 59 percent of Israelis believe that international criticism of them stems from a basic hostility toward Israel. Only 34 percent think that international criticism is actually policy-based.

The wide-ranging study also found that about half of Israelis (52 percent) think the Iran nuclear deal did not reduce the Iranian threat to Israel, while 28 percent think it increased the threat, and only ten think it decreased it.

Reflecting the geopolitical shift in Russia’s favor, slightly more Israelis, 52 percent, now think Russian President Vladimir Putin has a bigger influence on events in the Middle East than U.S. President Donald Trump. By comparison, only 15 percent think that Pres. Trump has more influence and 21 percent say their influence is about the same.

Israelis are not impressed with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s handling of foreign affairs. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best score, Israelis rate the government’s handling of foreign policy at 5.05. Only 19 percent gave it an eight or higher.

PM Netanyahu currently holds the foreign affairs portfolio himself, something not to the liking of an overwhelming number of people. Only 6 percent of respondents say he should continue as foreign minister. However, there seems no overwhelming choice for his replacement.

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid led the running with 13 percent, followed by Zionist Camp MK and former foreign minister Tzipi Livni with 6.

On the vexed issue of Diaspora relations, asked whether Israel should take Diaspora Jews into account when formulating policy, 50 percent said yes, while 39 said no.