The Jerusalem Post reports:
U.S. President Barack Obama’s efforts to reach out to the people of Israel last week – when he hosted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for a positive meeting at the White House and gave his first interview as president to an Israeli television station – were not very successful, according to a Smith Research poll. … After Obama’s earlier meetings with Netanyahu were portrayed as adversarial, Obama made a point of treating the prime minister with the utmost respect last week, accompanying him to his car and constantly commending him in particular and Israelis in general during his press conference with Netanyahu on Tuesday, and his interview with Channel 2 anchor Yonit Levy two days later. …
There was only a 1 percentage point rise in Israelis who consider the US administration headed by Obama to be more pro-Israel than pro-Palestinian since the last such poll was taken in March.
When asked whether they saw Obama’s administration as more pro-Israel, more pro-Palestinian or neutral, just 10 percent of Israeli Jews said more pro-Israel, 46% said more pro-Palestinian, 34% said neutral and 10% did not express an opinion.
If only American Jews could be as hard-headed and realistic. It’s not a smile or a handshake that makes for a pro-Israel president — it is what he does that matters. So far, nothing much has changed in Obama’s approach to the Middle East – so why should the Israelis’ opinion of Obama? And while we are debating what it means to be “pro-Israel,” it seems as though we should at least take into account what Israelis think.