Sunday, May 19, 2024

More Americans have little, no confidence in Israeli PM: Survey

An increasing number of Americans have little to no trust in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of world affairs, a new poll revealed.

The report, issued by Pew Research Center, found 53 percent of U.S. adults said they have little or no confidence in Netanyahu doing the “right thing” regarding world affairs, including 25 percent who said they have no confidence in him at all.

The share of Americans with no confidence in the Israeli prime minister increased 11 percentage points since last year, when 42 percent shared the sentiment.

Only 9 percent of U.S. adults in the latest survey said they have “a lot” of confidence in his handling of world affairs, while 21 percent said they have some, Pew found. These are slight drops from last year, when 8 percent said they have a lot of confidence and 24 percent said they have some.

The center noted the decrease in confidence could be connected to a shift in recognition of Netanyahu. In 2023, 26 percent of Americans said they had never heard of him, while only about 15 percent said the same this year.

The findings come as Netanyahu faces mounting scrutiny over Israel’s wartime military campaign in Gaza, which has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians since early October, according to local health authorities.

He has pushed back against characterizations that Israel is not doing enough to protect civilian lives and vowed to push forward in eliminating the threat of Palestinian armed group Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007.

The war has raged on for nearly seven months since Hamas launched a surprise attack on southern Israel last October, in which fighters killed about 1,200 people and took roughly 250 others hostage. Cease-fire negotiations remain stalled despite increasing pressure from leaders around the world.

Pew also found Americans’ sentiment about Netanyahu varies across party lines. Republicans and Republican-leaning independents have much more positive views of the Israeli leader than Democrats and those who lean Democratic — 51 percent to 13 percent.

About 38 percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners said they have no confidence in Netanyahu at all, compared to 13 percent of Republicans who said the same, according to the poll.

Views also vary among age groups, with older Americans more likely to have positive views of Netanyahu than younger ones.

Among Americans age 50 and older, 42 percent have at least some confidence in him to do the right thing with world affairs, while about a quarter of ages 30 to 49 said the same. Only 13 percent of adults under 30 have at least some trust, per the survey.

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