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Only 4% Of Israelis Say Obama Is "Pro-Israel"

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Only 4 percent of Israelis believe President Barack Obama's Mideast policies are "pro-Israel," according to a Smith Research poll this week. The number was 6 percent two months ago.

Thirty-five percent believe Obama's policies are balanced, while 51 percent say they are more pro-Palestine, according to the study.

The figures come in the midst of Obama's attempt to broker peace between Israel and Palestine as well as his efforts to repair the fissure between Islam and the West by reaching out to Arab and Middle Eastern countries.

Two months ago, 88 percent of Israelis said the policies of President George Bush, Obama's predecessor, were "pro-Israel."

While Obama has hardly altered US policies toward Israel, he has broken from tradition by taking a strong stance against Israel's building of permanent settlements in the West Bank, a region recognized globally as part of the Palestinian territories. Obama has said that the settlements "have to be stopped" in order to achieve peace in the region.

When the Israeli government refused to comply, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reaffirmed that the Obama administration is "very clear" that settlement growth needs to be halted, "intends to press that point."

Obama, who overwhelmingly won the votes of American Jews in 2008, has since come under criticism from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and members of the Republican party, which are likely to have impacted Obama's popularity in Israel.

Earlier this month, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Netanyahu called senior White House officials Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod "self-hating Jews," which Haaretz said was a sign of Netanyahu's "paranoia."

This summer, lone Jewish GOP Congressman Eric Cantor labeled Obama's Mid-East policy "dangerous" and "misguided," and later echoed this criticism during a trip to Israel.

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