BY SANDY FITZGERALD, NEWSMAX—
A growing number of people believe the Obama administration is not doing enough to support Israel, according to a recent survey commissioned by The Hill newspaper.
The poll of 1,000 likely voters conducted Feb. 28 found that three times more voters think the White House is not supportive enough than those who believe it is too supportive.
The new numbers for those who said President Barack Obama does not back Israel as much as he should are higher than they were in three similar Hill surveys conducted since May 2011.
The February poll found 39 percent of respondents said Obama does not support Israel enough compared to 13 percent who said his policies are too supportive.
A slightly larger percentage, 30 percent compared to 28 percent, said Obama is more anti-Israel than pro-Israel. But the percentage of people labeling Obama as being pro-Israel is up slightly from a September 2011 poll.
Obama’s policies on Israel are being watched closely, while concerns rise about Iran’s nuclear program. Israel says Iran must be stopped from obtaining a nuclear weapon, even if it involves a military strike. The Obama administration favors a diplomatic solution instead.
The White House is renewing its focus on Israel this month, with Vice President Joe Biden to address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference Monday, and Obama to make his first presidential visit to Israel later this month.
The Hill poll, conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, also found that most voters think Obama should be somewhat or very involved in helping broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. However, a third of voters said he should not be involved.
The survey also revealed that fewer voters think Obama is improving the U.S. standing worldwide. Thirty-seven percent said the United States is more respected internationally than it was before Obama took office, and 43 percent said the country is less respected.