Despite criticisms on Middle East, Obama commands strong Jewish backing
July 5th, 2011
04:09 PM ET

Despite criticisms on Middle East, Obama commands strong Jewish backing

By Joe Sterling, CNN

President Barack Obama maintains a "solid majority" of Jewish-American support despite a recent outcry among some in the community over his position on Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, according to a Gallup poll released Tuesday.

"Jewish Americans gave President Barack Obama a 60% job approval rating in June, down from 68% in May, but statistically unchanged from 64% in April,” according to an analysis of monthly polling figures. “Thirty-two percent of U.S. Jews now disapprove of the job Obama is doing, similar to their 30% average thus far in 2011."

"Gallup's monthly trend in Jewish approval of Obama continues to roughly follow the path of all Americans' approval of the president, more generally, as it has since Obama took office in January 2009.”

The poll notes that Obama’s support grew in May, mainly over the U.S. operation that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. But that surge largely disappeared by mid-June.

Historically, the majority of Jewish-Americans go for Democrats and they have been supportive of the Obama candidacy and his presidency, despite some strong criticism of his Middle East ideas and policies among some in the U.S. Jewish community and efforts by Republicans to gain Jewish support.

There has been controversy lately over Obama’s May speech in which he said that Israel's 1967 borders should be a starting point for peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and land swaps.

Though the remarks triggered criticism from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and some prominent American backers of Israel, Gallup found that the speech was "not a watershed in Jewish views toward Obama.”

The pollster’s analysis said the numbers contrast with a recent article on Politico headlined "Obama may be losing the faith of Jewish Democrats.” An excerpt from the article:

Most of those interviewed were center-left American Jews and Obama supporters – and many of them Democratic donors.

On some core issues involving Israel, they’re well to the left of Netanyahu and many Americans: They refer to the 'West Bank,' not to 'Judea and Samaria,' fervently supported the Oslo peace process and Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza and believe in the urgency of creating a Palestinian state.

But they are also fearful for Israel at a moment of turmoil in a hostile region when the moderate Palestinian Authority is joining forces with the militantly anti-Israel Hamas.

…it’s hard to resist the conclusion that some kind of tipping point has been reached.

But Gallup said that while the viewpoints "may apply to certain politically active members of the Jewish-American community," recent Gallup trends show such conclusions are "not reflective of the views of Jewish Americans more generally."

The poll also said those "who regularly attend synagogue are less supportive of Obama than those who attend less frequently or who are non-practicing." But it said "the degree to which each group" backs Obama didn't change in the periods before and after his May speech.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Judaism • Politics • Polls

soundoff (443 Responses)
  1. byrnie harris

    Yes! Once again Obama mis spoke and has to take a few steps backwards. Americans always have and always will stand with Israel, and any President that tries to go against that will be making a grave mistake. Those of us who stand with Israel will not stand for our Presidents ignorance.

    July 17, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  2. Michael S

    Obama was praised by Netanhayu for his inferred help in the Stuxnet virus that put back Iran's nuclear ambitions for least 3 years. This was a priorty for Obama unlike Bush. The Cia worked closely with the Mossad to attain their goal. Recently, Netanyahu was criticized iheavily his policy towards the Arabs by the same former head of the Mossad who masterminded the Stuxnet operation. American Jewry and knowledgeable Americans are aware that this makes the world safer for all.

    July 8, 2011 at 6:46 am |
  3. Peikovian

    Many Jews are idiots, in a way that requires being just smart enough to delude themselves. This is not the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, when Jewish WW2 suffering gave the Jews even more sympathy for any Left-leaning civil rights struggle. This is an era when the Left excuses firing rockets at school buses if and only if Jewish children are on board, and organizes campus advocacy of the groups that fire the rockets. The Jews can't adjust to this change and are giving BHO more credit than he deserves.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
  4. w parker

    Obama backing Isreal or even Christianity? that's a joke! Show me the PROOF. Christians are being killed everyday prior to and mostly since Obama's backing of the new regimes in the middle east. Obama says not a word about the killings and has done everything to promote Isreal's downfall. He doesn't even have the time to meet with Isreal's leader, but bows to the Muslim leaders. He lays out the "red carpet" to China's leader though. Who are we kidding?? We're seen the PROOF!

    July 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  5. DiamondSky

    For true democracy, the Middle East need the Bible, 80%-100% literacy rate, equal rights of women and children with those of men, freedom of worship for all infidels and religious freedom for all Muslims( ability to change religion, etc).

    July 7, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • Mike

      As the "crusades" in the middle east continue, we must stand for Israel and this President has not done that!! Every JEW in America needs to reevaluate his/her position of support on Obama.

      July 7, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
  6. AvdBerg

    For a better understanding of the issues that face the Middle East we invite you to read the article World History and Developments in the MIddle East of the website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    July 7, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  7. Reality

    The Jewish voting bloc continues to decrease in numbers. BO does not need their vote. Their money? Maybe.

    And BO is the leader of the Immoral Majority, the largest voting bloc the US i.e. in 2012, the ~ 78 million voting"mothers and fathers" of aborted womb babies and that is the reason BO will win in 2012 unless the Republicans somehow nominate a "pro-abortion" candidate something very unlikely considering the conservative "pro-life" voting bloc within said party.

    Added details:

    What BO can do to at least lift part of the Immoral Majority label?

    He says abortions should be "safe, legal and rare" but says nothing about the basic tenet of proper human conduct i.e. Thou Shalt Not Kill. And where is BO's sense of indignation that abortions are not rare and that these acts of horror demean the Golden Rule considering that he says he is a Christian. And where is his sense of indignation that women who use the Pill do not use it properly resulting in an failure rate of 8.7% as per the Gu-ttmacher Inst-itute statistics. Using these and other Gu-ttmacher Insti-tute data, this failure of women to use the Pill properly results in ~1,000,000 unplanned pregnancies every year. And the annual abortion rate in the USA is?? ~1,000,000 as per the CDC.

    And do males use co-ndoms properly? No, as said failure rate for this birth "control" method is 17.4%!! Again using Gu-ttmacher data, said failure rate results in another ~1,000,000 unplanned pregnancies every year.

    The Gu-ttmacher Insti-tute (same reference) notes also that the perfect use of the pill should result in a 0.3% failure rate (35,000 unplanned pregnancies) and for the male condom, a 2% failure rate (138,000 unplanned pregnancies).

    Bottom line: BO is still not aware of the basics of birth control and still remains the leader of the Immoral Majority and will remain so until he becomes a true Christian and one who respects and protects human life in all its forms and who at least emphasizes the proper use of birth control methods!!!


    July 7, 2011 at 7:47 am |
  8. John


    July 7, 2011 at 1:31 am |
    • ......

      Don't bother viewing this garbage, click the report abuse button to get rid of this troll.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  9. dinak

    This is only because the media has done an outstanding job of brainwashing Jews that Christians hate them and that only Liberals accept Judaism. Also, the press and educators have purposefully misrepresented the very Leftist Hitler as being conservative, which is a complete falsehood. In fact, it's Christians who overwhelmingly support Israel and the Jews, and the Leftist press and academia who hate Israel. Thank God for Charles Krauthammer, an example of an conservative Jew that others should heed.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:07 am |
  10. Odessa

    USA, keep liberating and protecting those who suffer or are bullied on earth like Israel. Your recent ungodly policy is bad for the military and for the nation. Every nation has its limitation.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  11. Buddy R

    Despite CNN's best efforts as the voice of the democrat party Obama will be defeated in the presidential elections.

    July 6, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You must have great big crystal balls.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  12. Philabias

    MAny jews helped hitler and now they help obama
    so it seems that jews are self destuctive. no surprise to me

    July 6, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Lycidas

      What is "many" to you?

      July 6, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • rridgeback

      Can you please support your inane statements?

      July 6, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • mrkusn

      Your statement drips of ignorance.

      July 7, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • D

      Citation needed

      July 7, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.