Israel among few countries that like Trump more than Obama, poll finds
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Israel among few countries that like Trump more than Obama, poll finds

New Gallup survey finds sharp decline in global support for US leadership in 2017, except in Jewish state, Belarus, Macedonia and Liberia

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and US President Donald Trump, right, speak at Ben Gurion International Airport prior to the latter's departure from Israel on May 23, 2017. (Koby Gideon/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and US President Donald Trump, right, speak at Ben Gurion International Airport prior to the latter's departure from Israel on May 23, 2017. (Koby Gideon/GPO)

Israel is among a handful of countries whose support for US leadership has significantly increased under President Donald Trump, according to a poll released Thursday.

The new Gallup poll showed that international approval for a US leader hit a historic low of 30 percent in 2017, a steep decline from former US president Barack Obama’s 48% approval rating a year earlier.

Of the 134 countries surveyed about approval of the US president, only four showed an uptick of 10 percentage points or more: Israel, Belarus, Macedonia and Liberia. In 65 countries, US leadership approval sank 10 percentage points or more.

The poll found Trump to have a 67% approval rating among Israelis. The poll was conducted in November 2017, a month before Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and vowed to move the US embassy there. The move was popular among Israelis, and support for him could be even higher since the December 6 announcement.

Strong Israeli support for Trump revealed by the Gallup poll is echoed in the monthly Peace Index polls conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University.

Gallup surveyed 1,000 people in each country between March and November 2017, with a 2.0% margin of error.

A Peace Index poll conducted at the beginning of January 2018 found that 59% of Israelis said that Trump “understands Israel’s interests well,” and 65% approved of Trump’s Jerusalem announcement as “contributing to Israel’s interests.”

In sharp contrast, Palestinians overwhelmingly oppose Trump’s shift on longstanding US policy regarding Jerusalem, and most do not believe his administration can broker a peace agreement with Israel.

A poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in December found that 91% of Palestinians opposed Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem, and 72% of respondents said they did not believe his administration would submit any peace plan.

Almost half, or 45%, believe the Palestinians should cut all contacts with the US, submit a complaint to the International Criminal Court, and launch an armed uprising, according to that survey.

The poll conducted by the Ramallah-based think tank questioned 1,270 adults and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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