World

Israelis Find Obama To Be The Worst U.S. President In 30 Years

| by Kathryn Schroeder
President Barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama

Israelis think President Barack Obama is the worst U.S. president in recent history for relations with Israel.

According to the 2015 poll by Menachem Lazar of Panels Politics, 63 percent of Israelis found Obama to be the worst U.S. president in the last 30 years, and only 3 percent found him to be the best, the Jewish Journal reported.

Respondents found the best president for relations with Israel to be Bill Clinton, with 37 percent of the vote. 

George W. Bush is considered the second-best with 33 percent; only 3 percent voted him to be the worst.

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Jimmy Carter is considered to be the second-worst president, with George H.W. Bush taking third place.

Clinton had 0 percent in the worst-president category.

Whether the Obama administration is "pro-Israeli, pro-Palestinian or neutral" was also asked of participants. In 2012, 47 percent of Israelis viewed the administration as pro-Palestinian, with 21 percent saying pro-Israeli. In 2015, 60 percent of Israelis found the Obama administration to be pro-Palestinian, with only 9 percent saying it is pro-Israeli.

The change in Israelis' perception of Obama is likely due to the ongoing disagreements between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Obama, which included Israel's opposing the Iran nuclear deal.

But Obama appears to be trying to mend fences with Israel.

CNN reports that Obama visited the Israeli Embassy in Washington D.C. on Jan. 27, making him the first sitting president ever to do so, according to Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer.

During his visit, Obama said the U.S. is committed to Israel’s security and that it would be a “fundamental moral failing if America broke that bond.”

He added that all Israelis, whether Jewish or Arab, be accepted in the country -- a sentiment Netanyahu's government does not necessarily share.

"Too often, especially in times of change, especially in times of anxiety and uncertainty, we are too willing to give into a base desire to find someone else -- someone different -- to blame for our struggles," Obama said, according to CNN.

"We're called to live in a way that shows that we've actually learned from our past," he added. "It means taking a stand against bigotry in all its forms, and rejecting our darkest impulses and guarding against tribalism as the only value in our communities and in our politics."

Sources: Jewish Journal, CNN / Photo credit: Ash Carter/Flickr

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