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Fewer Israelis see Obama as pro-Palestinian: poll

March 29, 2013

US President Barack Obama, walks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a welcoming ceremony prior to their meeting, in the West Bank city of Ramallah.—File Photo

JERUSALEM: Fewer Israelis see US President Barack Obama as pro-Palestinian since his landmark visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank last week, according to an opinion poll published on Friday.

The poll carried by the English-language Jerusalem Post found that just 16 per cent of respondents said Obama was “pro-Palestinian” against 36 per cent before the March 20 to 22 visit.

The proportion who said he was “pro-Israeli” rose only slightly from 26 per cent to 27 per cent but the proportion who said he was “neutral” climbed sharply from 26 per cent to 39 per cent.

On his first visit to Israel as president, Obama pledged an “eternal” alliance with the Jewish state in the face of the threat from Iran and made a visible effort to turn a new page in his personal relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which has been marred by several public spats.

The poll was carried out among a representative sample of 500 Israelis, both Jews and Arabs, and the pollsters gave a margin of error of plus or minus four per cent.