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US Public Attitudes Towards Israel

Yoram Ettinger’s commentary: Support of Israel transcends religious, gender, age, economic and partisan lines. 63% of independent voters consider (a positive) US policy on Israel to be very important (16%) and somewhat important (47%).  76% of independent voters assume that President Obama is not supportive enought of Israel (50%) and adequately supportive (26%).

More than half of likely voters say the Obama administration’s policy on Israel is either somewhat or very important to the way they vote, according to this week’s The Hill Poll.

The survey comes just as Republicans managed to win the Brooklyn- and Queens-based congressional seat of former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), in what many called a referendum on President Obama’s approach to Israel.

The winner, newly sworn in Rep. Bob Turner (R), used the issue to bludgeon his Democratic opponent, David Weprin, in the heavily Jewish district.

Obama is expected to meet early this week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York, as the United Nations holds its annual General Assembly meetings.




One of the issues the U.N. is expected to address is a push by Palestinians for a declaration of statehood, something the United States has promised to veto.

According to The Hill Poll, more than 25 percent consider the administration’s approach to Israel “very important” to the way they vote. An additional 36 percent consider it “somewhat important.”

Republicans give the issue more weight than do Democrats, the poll found. More than 4 in 10 who identify with the GOP called it “very important” to their vote, with another 1 in 3 Republicans calling it “somewhat important.” Only 17 percent of GOP voters called the issue “not very important.”

Democrats were split somewhat more evenly: About 1 in 3 considered it “somewhat important” to their votes, while nearly 4 in 10 called it “not very important.”


Voters who did not identify as either Republicans or Democrats were most likely to consider the issue “somewhat important,” with nearly half agreeing with that assessment.

Obama’s approach toward Israel may haunt him in his upcoming reelection campaign as he tries to woo the centrist voters who supported him in 2008.

A major speech on Israel given by Obama in May was widely seen as conceding a major demand of the Palestinians — to base any future state on the borders that existed between them and the Israelis in 1967, prior to the Six Day War.

A day after the speech, Netanyahu criticized the 1967-border idea as “indefensible” in an unusual Oval Office exchange in which he was widely perceived to have hectored Obama.

Still, despite the criticism Obama has received on the issue, nearly 4 in 10 likely voters said the president is neither pro-Israel nor anti-Israel.

By party, the splits are not surprising: Nearly half of Republicans called Obama “anti-Israel,” while more than half of Democrats said he is neither pro- nor anti-Israel.

Independent voters might again be a problem for the president on this question, with nearly 4 in 10 believing he is “anti-Israel.”

Fifty percent of independents also said Obama is “not supportive enough” of Israel in responding to a separate question, making them even more strident than Republicans, slightly less than half of whom said Obama does not support Israel enough.

A plurality of Democrats (44 percent) said his support is “about right.”

In general, respondents’ conclusions appeared to be closely correlated with their general level of approval of Obama.

Those who strongly or somewhat approve of Obama were most likely to call his support of Israel “about right.” Those who strongly disapprove of Obama were most likely, at nearly 7 in 10, to say he was “not supportive enough.”

Overall, among likely voters, nearly 4 in 10 agreed that Obama is “not supportive enough” of Israel, while 20 percent think he is “too supportive” and a third said his support is “about right.”

Pulse Opinion Research conducted The Hill Poll among 1,000 likely voters on Sept. 15. It has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.  Click here to view data from The Hill Poll.


The post-1967 turning point of US-Israel cooperation

Israeli benefits to the US taxpayer exceed US foreign aid to Israel

Iran - A Clear And Present Danger To The USA

Exposing the myth of the Arab demographic time bomb

Congress – the co-equal and systematic ally of Israel

Presidents propose and Congress disposes

On September 23, 2021, the US House of Representatives voted 420:9 to replenish the Israeli-developed defensive “Iron Dome” missiles, which are increasingly manufactured – and eventually exported – by the US defense company Raytheon, that benefits from the battle-tested “Israeli laboratory.”

The overwhelming vote reflects Congressional realization that the “Iron Dome”:

*Enhances Israel’s posture of deterrence, which is critical to the survival of all pro-US Arab regimes and minimization of regional instability;
*Reduces the need for full-scale Israeli wars on Palestinian and Islamic terrorism;
*Provides an alternative to Israeli military ground-operations against Palestinian terrorists, which would entail substantial Israeli and Palestinian fatalities;
*Represents joint US-Israel interests, militarily and technologically, in the face of mutual threats (e.g., Islamic terrorism) and mutual challenges (e.g., developing world-class, game-changing technologies).

*Constitutes another example of the systematic support by Congress of enhanced US-Israel cooperation.

The decisive role played by Congress in the replenishment of the “Iron Dome” underscores the cardinal rule of the US political system: The President proposes, but Congress disposes.

The involvement of Senators and House Representatives in foreign policy and national security-related issues has surged since the Vietnam War, Watergate and Iran Gate scandals, the dismantling of the USSR (which transformed the world from a bi-polar to a multi-polar) and rapidly-expanding globalization.

In fact, former Secretary of State, Jim Baker, complained about the growing congressional assertiveness in the area of foreign policy: “You can’t conduct foreign policy with 535 Secretaries of State….”  Former Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney, criticized Congress for micromanaging the defense budget: dictating how much to spend on particular weapons, imposing detailed requirements and programmatic restrictions, venturing into policy-setting and requesting that the Department of Defense submits mountains of reports.

Congressional muscles 

The US Congress is the most powerful legislature in the world, and it has demonstrated its co-equal, co-determining muscle in the areas of foreign and defense policies on many occasions, such as:

*Imposing sanctions against foreign countries in defiance of Presidents Clinton, Obama and Trump (e.g., Egypt – 2012, Iran – 1996-97 and 2013, Russia – 2017);
*Non-ratification of the 2015 JCPOA, which enabled withdrawal by the US;
*The 2009 non-closure of the Guantanamo Detention Camp was led by Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (NV-D), in defiance of President Obama.
*The 2009 non-confirmation of Charles Freeman to the Director of National Intelligence was led by Senator Chuck Schumer (NY-D);
*The 1999 non-ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in defiance of President Clinton and the international community;
*The unprecedented expansion of US-Israel strategic cooperation took place despite stiff opposition by President Bush and Secretary of State Baker;
*The Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act overrode President Reagan’s veto;
*The 1984 Boland Amendment aborted President Reagan’s financial and military aid to anti-Communist elements in Nicaragua;
*The 1983 blocking of President Reagan’s attempted coup against the Surinam pro-Soviet regime;
*The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act mandated congressional authorization of surveillance of persons and organizations, which may threaten national security;
*The 1975/76 Tunney (CA-D) and Clark Amendments stopped financial and military covert support of the opposition to the pro-Soviet regime in Angola;
*The 1973 Church-Case Amendment ended funding of military involvement in Southeast Asia;
*The 1973 War Powers Act overrode President Nixon’s veto;
*The Jackson-Vanik Amendment preconditioned aid to Moscow upon free immigration.

Congress empowered by the Constitution

As documented in the aforementioned paragraphs, one is advised to note that while Congress is preoccupied with District and State issues, it has the power to both propose and dispose in the areas of foreign and defense policies.

The US Constitution aspires for a limited government and a non-monarchical president, and therefore does not limit Congress to overseeing the budget. It provides the Senate and the House of Representatives with the power to act on strategic issues and policy-setting.

The Constitution accords Congress ”the power of the purse,” oversight of government operations, ratification of treaties, confirmation of key appointments, declaration of war, funding of military operations and cooperation with foreign entities, creation and elimination of government agencies, imposing sanctions on foreign governments, etc.

In other words, the President is the “commander in-chief” within constraints, which are set by Congress.


The post-1967 turning point of US-Israel cooperation

Israeli benefits to the US taxpayer exceed US foreign aid to Israel

Iran - A Clear And Present Danger To The USA

Exposing the myth of the Arab demographic time bomb