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Obama’s Jewish Support Dropping, Survey Finds

Jewish approval of President Obama is dropping, a new national survey found.

Some 49 percent of U.S. Jews approve, while 45 percent disapprove, of the Obama administration’s handling of U.S.-Israel relations, according to a just-completed American Jewish Committee survey, its second national survey of American Jewish opinion conducted this year. This is the first time two surveys were commissioned in the same calendar year.

AJC’s earlier survey, conducted in March, found that 55 percent approved and 37 percent disapproved.

In contrast, the view of how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is handling U.S.-Israel relations has improved. Some 62 percent of American Jews approve, and 27 percent disapprove, according to the new survey. In March, 57 percent approved and 30 percent disapproved.

Overall approval of Obama’s performance as president dropped to 51 percent, from 57 percent in March. Obama captured 78 percent of the Jewish vote in the presidential election two years ago.

American Jewish confidence in Obama’s approach to Iran has dropped, with 43 percent approving of the administration’s handling of the Iran nuclear issue compared to 47 percent in March. Some 46 percent disapprove, up from 42 percent. Some 59 percent support and 35 percent oppose U.S. military action to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Some 70 percent support and some 26 oppose Israeli military action.

A series of questions regarding the Arab-Israeli peace process yielded results similar to previous surveys, showing continuity in American Jewish views of a Palestinian state, the status of Jerusalem and West Bank settlements.

Like the March results, the new survey found that 48 percent favor, and 45 percent oppose, the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Regarding dismantling West Bank settlements as part of a permanent agreement with the Palestinians, 6 percent say all should be evacuated, while 56 percent say some should and 37 percent say none should be dismantled.

A majority of American Jews, 60 percent, continue to support a united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, while 35 percent say Israel should compromise on the city’s status in a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

American Jews remain nearly unanimous, at 95 percent, in supporting a proposal requiring Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in a final peace agreement. In March and in 2009, the figure was 94 percent.

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