A recent poll released by The Hill on Monday showed that a plurality of American voters believe that President Obama needs to be more supportive of Israel. The President has struggled over his first term to convince the American electorate that he is sufficiently supportive of the Jewish State and its elected leaders. The President has recently announced that on March 20 he is planning on making his first Presidential visit to Israel to meet with Israel’s new government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
According to the poll, 39% of likely US voters believe that President Obama has not been supportive enough of Israel. The poll also showed that 34% of likely US voters believe that President Obama’s support of Israel is just “about right” while only 13% believe that the President was too supportive of Israel while 14% of voters were not sure.
President Obama’s first term in office was marked but what was perceived as a rocky relationship with Israel and specifically with Netanyahu. President Obama is the first US President to call for the creation of a Palestinian State along the 1967 ceasefire lines that delineate the West Bank from Israel. Obama has also been seen as snubbing Netanyahu on more than one occasion, leaving the room in frustration during a working meeting at the White House and citing scheduling conflicts as a reason to avoid the Prime Minister while the two were in New York.
There was also the embarrassing incident where, when speaking to French President Francois Hollande, Obama lamented having to work with Netanyahu. During that conversation neither President realized that they were being recorded and Hollande referred to Netanyahu as a liar.
Israel recently held parliamentary elections and Netanyahu won the most seats of any party in the Israeli Parliament, The Knesset. Since the election Netanyahu has struggled to put together a governing coalition. Netanyahu has until March 16th, four days before President Obama’s scheduled visit, to put together a government or Israel will have to go back to the polls and vote for a new government. Obama plans on visiting the region to discuss the conflict in Syria, the Iranian nuclear threat and the Israeli/Palestinian peace process.
Here is the most recent address given to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.