Only four percent of Jewish Israelis believe President Obama's policies are pro-Israel while half oppose a temporary freeze of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, a poll released on Friday found.
The survey, conducted by the Jerusalem Post, found that more than half, 51 percent, considered Obama's administration to be more pro-Palestinian than pro-Israeli, up slightly from 50 percent in June.
The percentage of Jewish Israelis who consider Obama to be pro-Israel was down from six percent in a much-cited June 19 poll. By comparison, 88 percent of those interviewed in the June survey thought former President George W. Bush was pro-Israel.
The new poll appears to show that U.S. efforts to improve American-Israeli ties have not improved Obama's reputation among Israelis.
However, the survey was taken prior to reports that the Obama administration is apparently backing down on its insistence that Israel halt all settlement activity as a condition for restarting peace talks with the Palestinians.
While U.S. officials insist their position on the matter has not changed, they are now hinting that a less blanket moratorium would be acceptable provided the Palestinians and Arab states agree.
The administration's special Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, has been pressing Israel, the Palestinians and neighboring Arab nations to take specific confidence-building measures to lay the groundwork for a resumption in peace negotiations. The administration wants to have President Obama announce a breakthrough in the third week of September at or on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
Getting Arab buy-in on such a deal will be difficult, particularly since Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has refused to resume negotiations with Israel until there is a full freeze on settlements. U.S. officials said Thursday that they will continue to press Israel for as broad a suspension as possible.
The Smith Research poll for The Jerusalem Post was conducted August 24-25 among 500 Jewish Israelis and has a margin of error of 4.5 percent.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.