Photo Credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO/Flash90
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama

poll conducted for Fox News by Democratic and Republican research teams just before and on the day of Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the joint session of Congress on March 3, shows that Americans believe the United States is not doing enough to fight back against Islamic extremism, and think that U.S. President Barack Obama has been a weak negotiator with foreign leaders.

The results of the poll shows that despite the political tsunami inside the beltway and in the American and Israeli media regarding Netanyahu’s speech, most Americans believed that it was a good thing that Congressional leaders invited the Israeli prime minister to address Congress. This was true generally, for 56 percent of the public, and it was even true for 44 percent of Democrats, as well as, of course, a whopping 74 percent of Republicans.

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This pretty strong showing, despite the hysteria in, for example, the New York Times and its baby echo chamber in Israel, Haaretz, shows that Americans are inclined to believe in the use of power to stop violent aggression, and remain committed to Israel despite what has become a very public spat between President Obama and his administration in its dealings with Netanyahu.

This is borne out both in the results of what Americans believe the U.S. should in dealing with Iran, which is more in concert with Netanyahu’s very publicly and frequently repeated warnings about that nation. For example, 55 percent of all Americans believe it will be a disaster if Iran acquires the ability to develop nuclear weapons, 57 percent believe the U.S. has not been sufficiently aggressive in its efforts to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapons program, and a full 65 percent favor the use of military action if that is the only way to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

Americans told the pollsters that a full 58 percent have a favorable view of Israel, with only 25 percent expressing an unfavorable view. This is a much stronger view than is held of even the “moderate” Palestinian Authority – the ones Israel is constantly told is its peace partner – for which only 11 percent of all Americans expressed a positive view.

A small minority of Americans view Netanyahu unfavorably, 26 percent, while 54 percent view Obama unfavorably. Drilling down on those numbers, 38 percent of Democrats view Netanyahu unfavorably, while only 13 percent of Republicans share that position. The situation is reversed when it comes to how Americans feel about Obama, with only 16 percent of Democrats thinking that the president is not doing a good job as president, but 87 percent of Republicans disapproving of his performance.

With respect to support for Israel, 41 percent of Americans think the Obama administration is not doing enough to support the Jewish state, while 14 percent think it is doing too much to support Israel. Breaking it down further, 17 percent of Democrats think this administration is not doing enough to support Israel, while 68 percent of Republicans feel that way.

The poll asked Americans their views on many different subjects. Some interesting results are that, as of the beginning of March, Americans have only a slightly more favorable view of Obamacare (38 percent) than they do of the Tea Party (34 percent), and more Americans have an unfavorable view of Obamacare (58 percent) than they do of the Tea Party (48 percent).

Only 17 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Congress, and 76 percent have an unfavorable view. Back in late October of 2013, however, only 9 percent of Americans had a favorable view of Congress, and a full 85 percent disapproved of the job Congress was doing.

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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the JewishPress.com. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com

18 COMMENTS

  1. I believe from a conservative point of view that American citizens of all races/nationalities are frustrated with the weak and lying president/congress, and want aggressiveness, courage, and strength shown overseas. Bibi showed ALL of that, and leadership. Dr. Harlan A. Hanna, Ph.D. (3-6-2015)

  2. The political spin on Prime Ministers Netanyahu's speech obscures the fact that the Prime Minister told the truth!! Where are the American leaders who are willing and able to face the public and in simple terms tell the truth?

    We held out for a better deal during the Cold War with the Soviet Union using containment and sanctions and got what we asked for! Is Iran more powerful than was the Soviet Union that had a vast nuclear arsenal? The public abhors wimpy leaders.

  3. I'm confident that 65% of Americans support military strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities as a last resort. I do. But, after the Iraq disaster (also promoted by Netanyahu) I am firmly opposed to a "regime change" war in Iran. I suspect that most Americans feel the same on that subject as I do. If Israel insists on conditions that Iran will never accept as a way to maneuver the US into a "regime change" war with Iran, it may find the US unwilling to participate.

  4. The media’s preoccupation with who invited who and “protocol” took the focus off of what the purpose was in speaking to the congress. Obama has been doing an abysmal job in regards to the Iranian nuclear weapon issue. If Obama was doing the right thing, there would be no need for Netanyahu to address the congress. Even Kerry remarked that the goal was to slow down but not eliminate Iran’s aspirations to go nuclear, this is simply not good enough. Obama made this whole issue a media circus, all he had to do was increase sanctions against Iran to cut off their ability to produce nuclear weapons. Instead, Obama abandoned this strategy and began to negotiate with Iran. The P5+1 should also take responsibility because they didn’t produce any resistance in persuading Obama to stick with the sanctions and not negotiations. You don’t have to be a political scientist to figure out why the Iranians entered into negotiations. The wasted time that has been spent on counterproductive negotiations, allows Iran to have more time to develop nukes and also decreases the chances of sustained sanctions. I am very surprised by the naivety exhibited on the part of Obama and his European counterparts. Credibility has to be earned, not blindingly given. The Iranians have publicly said on several occasions that their only purpose in developing their nuclear capability was for peaceful means, if this is the case, then they should have no problem dismantling and handing over their nuclear infrastructure and allow any and all inspectors free access to all of their facilities, this hasn’t happened. Protocol will be of little use if a nuclear weapon is slammed into Israel.

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