Monday, May 10, 2010

The May 2010 War and Peace Index

There are some very interesting results in the latest War and Peace Index poll (Hebrew/English). Israelis see the crisis between Israel and the United States as over, and blame Barack Obama for it ever happening more than they blame Benjamin Netanyahu. Oddly, 56% of those polled said Netanyahu was handling relations with the US well or very well. So what if he hasn't shown any signs of budging on the Palestinian issue, which is at the center of US-Israel relations right now? My fellow Israelis still think he's doing swell.

Israelis aren't crazy about Obama, but don't hate him either. 43% think he's neutral towards Israel, which is similar to a previous poll. By comparison, a majority of Israelis found George W. Bush and Bill Clinton favorable towards Israel. Also in today's poll, 55% said Obama is favorable or very favorable toward the Arab world. I'd say that to many Israelis, if not most of them, being favorable toward the Arabs is not a very positive thing.

Also of interest is the fact that 73% of Israelis think Israel will continue to be criticized no matter what it does. The poll says a majority among all of Israel's parties says so, with the lowest percentage coming from Meretz, 55%. Does this mean that voters for Chadash (the Arab-Jewish Communist party) and other Arab parties have an even higher percentage than 55% thinking that Israel will always be criticized, or were the pollsters only referring to the Jewish parties?

Anyway, this vast majority isn't surprising. I, too, think that Israel will be criticized even when it does the right thing. Even when the two-state solution will be implemented, we'll still be criticized, but a lot less.

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