Poll: Obama remains popular in Israel

JERUSALEM, March 19 (UPI) -- The majority of Israelis said they think U.S. President Barack Obama's treatment of Israel is fair, a Haaretz-Dialog poll released Friday indicates.

Poll results also indicated most respondents didn't believe claims that Obama is anti-Semitic or is hostile to Israel, Haaretz said.


The poll was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday, a week after Israel's announcement during a visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden that it would build 1,600 housing units in east Jerusalem, sparking criticism from the United States.

The survey indicates Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's stature wasn't damaged by the diplomatic snafu, but the continued building in Jerusalem could haunt him down the road.

Forty-eight percent of respondents said Israel must keep building, even if it means a rift with the United States. Another 41 percent said Israel must agree to the U.S. demand to cease the construction effort until peace negotiations with Palestinian officials are concluded. The peace talks have been dormant since December 2008.

The report did not give method details of the survey.

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