A Knesset Channel poll published Thursday indicates that almost one half of the Israeli public agrees with MK Michael Oren (Kulanu), the former Israeli ambassador in the US, who said this week that US President Barack Obama has “deliberately” caused a deterioration in US-Israel ties.
The poll found that despite the large degree of support for anti-Obama sentiment, 68% of the public thinks that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should meet Obama after a deal is reached with Iran regarding its nuclear weapons program, while 17% said Netanyahu should not meet Obama.
In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal on Monday, Oren said that while Israel may have made "mistakes" vis-a-vis the US, Obama's missteps against Israel were carried out on purpose.
"From the moment he entered office, Mr. Obama promoted an agenda of championing the Palestinian cause and achieving a nuclear accord with Iran," wrote Oren. Obama abandoned the two core principles of Israel’s alliance with America, he accused.
One core principle was the concept of avoiding public disagreements with Israel so as not to encourage their common enemies to exploit the disharmony, said Oren. Another was “no surprises." While Israeli leaders in the past were given forewarning about major US policy statements regarding the Middle East, Obama did not warn Israel before he “changed 40 years of US policy by endorsing the 1967 lines with land swaps – formerly the Palestinian position – as the basis for peace-making.”
Similarly unpleasant surprises occurred, Oren added, when Obama offered to support a UN Security Council investigation of Israel's communities in Judea and Samaria, and "to back Egyptian and Turkish efforts to force Israel to reveal its alleged nuclear capabilities."
The public was also asked if Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev (Likud) was right to threaten to freeze state support for Arab theater Al Midan, whose co-director refused to perform in a Israeli community in the Jordan Valley. While 71% supported Regev, 20% did not.