update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

Biden admin support for Israel dwindling, majority of Israeli Jews say

More than 70% of Israeli Jews feel that U.S. President Joe Biden's support has declined in the months.

The American and Israeli flags are projected on the walls of Jerusalem's Old City to thank U.S. president Joe Biden for his support, Oct. 18, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
The American and Israeli flags are projected on the walls of Jerusalem's Old City to thank U.S. president Joe Biden for his support, Oct. 18, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Almost three in four Jewish Israelis believe U.S. President Joe Biden’s initial support for the Jewish state following Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre has dwindled as Jerusalem’s ongoing military offensive against the terror group enters a crucial stage, according to a survey published on Sunday night.

While most Israeli Jews believe that Biden still backs the war against Hamas, over 70% feel that this support has declined in the months following the terror group’s murder of some 1,200 people in the northwestern Negev on Oct. 7, according to the Jewish People Policy Institute.

In his first public remarks regarding the attacks, Biden declared that the United States stood with Israel and vowed to “not ever fail to have her back.”

However, as the Israel Defense Forces prepare to enter Rafah, the last Hamas stronghold in the Strip, Biden has ramped up his criticism, going as far as characterizing the entire operation as being “over the top.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly emphasized that telling Israel to refrain from operating in Rafah is tantamount to demanding that it lose the war.

Prof. Yedidia Stern, president and CEO of the JPPI, noted that “even those Israelis who do not express trust in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s leadership” oppose Washington’s recent meddling in the war effort.

Stern cited the White House’s insistence that the IDF cancel its operation in Rafah, as well as Biden’s staunch backing of the two-state solution, as factors that lead many Israelis to believe that the administration’s support has diminished.

Only among members of the Arab population is there a majority that still believes Biden “strongly” supports Israel, according to the JPPI.

The JPPI prepared its survey in collaboration with professor Camil Fuchs of Tel Aviv University, one of Israel’s leading pollsters. The NGO surveyed a sample of some 800 Israeli adults, including 600 Jews and 200 Arabs.

The JPPI noted that the data reflected public opinion last week. In an interview with MSNBC‘s Jonathan Capehart over the weekend, Biden accused Netanyahu of doing “more harm than good” to Israel’s interests and declared the looming IDF operation in Rafah a “red line.”

Speaking with Politico on Sunday, Netanyahu noted that his policies are supported by the “overwhelming majority of the Israelis.”

“I don’t know exactly what the president meant, but if he meant by that that I’m pursuing private policies against the majority, the wish of the majority of Israelis, and that this is hurting the interests of Israel, then he’s wrong on both counts,” said the premier.

Around three-quarters of Jewish Israelis and a majority of Israelis overall support expanding the IDF operation into Rafah, according to a poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute published on Sunday.

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