Poll finds Israelis extremely, and near uniquely, supportive of Trump, US policy
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Poll finds Israelis extremely, and near uniquely, supportive of Trump, US policy

Pew survey shows 82% of Jewish Israelis trust president’s handling of global affairs, 94% have favorable opinion of US — views which are out of sync with most other nations

US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations General Assembly on September 26, 2018, at UN Headquarters (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations General Assembly on September 26, 2018, at UN Headquarters (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Israelis have an extremely positive view of US President Donald Trump and his administration, and are largely isolated in this outlook in the international community, a survey by the Pew Research Center shows.

The poll of America’s standing in 25 countries, published Monday, shows 82 percent of Jewish Israelis have confidence in Trump’s handling of global affairs (69% among Israelis overall) while 94% of Jewish Israelis have a favorable view of the US in general (83% overall).

Israeli approval of the US and its president was not widely shared in other countries surveyed, where ratings were generally at historic lows: Views of Washington are dim — and falling — in many nations which are key allies of the US, including Germany (30% favorability), Canada (39%) and France (38%). The UK was evenly split at 50%.

Though some nations showed a ratings improvement between 2017 to 2018 — such as Spain, Japan, South Korea, Brazil and South Africa — all but three of the countries surveyed continued to view the US less favorably than under the Obama administration, those three being, Israel, Russia and Kenya.

Confidence in US President Donald Trump internationally (Courtesy Pew Research Center)

Israel was tied with the Philippines for the highest overall rating for the current administration at 83%. Among Israeli Jews that figure was still higher at 94%, while only 43% of Arabs agreed.

Israeli appreciation for the US actually went up over the past year, from 81% in 2016 and 2017.

Pollsters also noted that respondents on the political right were generally far more enthusiastic than those on the left, with the divide in Israel (94% to 57%) being the largest between countries polled.

Israelis were also more convinced than any other respondents that the US was doing more to address global problems in the past two years, with 52% expressing that sentiment. The only other countries to come close were Nigeria (48%) and Kenya (42%), while in most European countries that number was in single digits or low teens.

Israel is also far ahead of most countries in the belief that Washington takes its interests into account, with 86% saying the administration considers Israeli interests when making decisions. Once again the Philippines (74%) and Kenya (63%) were closest to the Israeli position, while the median for all countries was only 28%.

While most respondents did not register a major change in their nations’ relationship with the US between this year and last, Israelis once again stood out, with 79% saying ties had improved — likely a result of the US decision in December 2017 to recognize Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital and move its embassy there.

And while, as noted above, 69% of Israelis trust Trump’s handling of international relations, the number is far above the median of all 25 nations, which stands at 27%.

Israelis are in agreement with most polled nations, however, that China plays a far larger role on the world stage today than in the past, with 74% expressing that view — a percentage similar to those in France, Spain, Russia, Germany, the UK, Canada and others.

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