OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: U.S. President Barack ObamaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s popularity has risen sharply in Israel after he spoke out forcibly against a Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations last week, according to a poll published by the Jerusalem Post Wednesday.
The poll, in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, showed that 56 percent of respondents consider the Obama administrationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s policies more beneficial to Israel than to the Palestinians.
Just 19 percent said ObamaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s policies favored the Palestinians, while 27 percent called them neutral. A survey in May showed 12 percent thought U.S. policy was pro-Israel and 40 percent saw it as pro-Palestinian.
The survey, conducted by Keevoon Research, polled 506 Hebrew-speaking adults and had a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points, the Post said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“President ObamaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s speech at the U.N. had a very big impact on Israelis,Ã¢â‚¬Â it quoted Keevoon director Mitchell Barak as saying.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He clearly stated support for key elements of the Israeli position while avoiding articulating some of the controversial U.S. positions that divide Israelis. For Israelis, his speech was as much about what he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t say as it was significant for what he did say.Ã¢â‚¬Â
In his address to the General Assembly, Obama reiterated his opposition to the PalestiniansÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ attempt to win U.N. membership, saying there was no Ã¢â‚¬Å“shortcutÃ¢â‚¬Â to peace.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the U.N. Ã¢â‚¬â€œ if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
ObamaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s speech, which an Israeli newspaper described as Ã¢â‚¬Å“Zionist,Ã¢â‚¬Â included references to IsraelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s neighbors, suicide bombs and the Holocaust.
But Palestinian leaders complained that he had ignored the plight of their people who have been striving for independence for decades and made no mention of Israeli settlement building on land the Palestinians want for a future state.
After taking office in 2009, Obama was criticized by many pro-Israeli groups for being too tough on Israel in his efforts to coerce the two sides back to the negotiating table.
Recent polls in the U.S. media have said his popularity among U.S. Jewish voters Ã¢â‚¬â€œ traditionally loyal to the Democratic Party Ã¢â‚¬â€œ has slipped and the Republican party has been swift to brand Obama as anti-Israeli.