By HERB KEINON, JPOST—
Hillary Clinton would be a better US president in terms of Israel’s interests than Donald Trump, according to an Israel Democracy Institute poll of Israeli attitudes on the two leading presidential candidates released on Monday.
When asked which of the two candidates would “be better from the standpoint of Israeli interests,” some 38 percent said Clinton – who is much better known in Israel than Trump – compared to 28% for the presumptive Republican nominee.
That 10-point gap narrows to nine points among only Jewish respondents, with 40% saying Clinton, and 31% Trump. The rest of the respondents either think both candidates will be even when it comes to Israeli interests (9%); that neither of them would be concerned about Israel’s interests (6%); or did not know or declined to answer.
Despite this finding, the poll found that 62.5% believe Trump would be committed to safeguarding Israel’s security, as opposed to 21% who have their doubts.
Regarding Clinton, 50% of respondents trust her when she said in a letter to the Jewish community before Passover that as president she would block international efforts to attack or isolate Israel, while 41% did not trust her to fulfill that pledge.
On other issues, the poll found that Jewish Israelis were at odds with most of the international community regarding whether Israel’s control of the territories constituted an “occupation.” While 23% said it did constitute an “occupation,” 71.5% percent didn’t think it was right to refer to the situation in those terms.
As to the current wave of terrorism, 66% of the general public either greatly or moderately fears that someone important to them will be harmed in the wave of terrorist attacks.
What is striking in this number, is that while 62% of Israeli Arabs “greatly fear” this happening, the percentage among Jews is 26%.
According to the poll, half of the population agrees with recent assessments that the terrorism wave is on a downward trend, while 45.5% are not yet convinced.
As to the political situation, even though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s agreement Sunday on a two-year budget means that the government has a good chance of lasting at least until 2018, only 38% of the public believes Netanyahu is doing a very good or moderately good job, as opposed to 57% who think he is not doing such a good job.
When asked the same question about Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union), 17% said his performance in this role has been good, as opposed to 67% who think otherwise.
Asked about the diplomatic process, while 60% of respondents are in favor of conducting negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, only 23% actually believe those negotiations will lead to peace.
The telephone survey was conducted on May 2-3, 2016, by the Midgam Research Institute, among a representative sample of 600 respondents. The sample had a ±4.1% margin of error.