U.S. Split on Israel: Netanyahu Favorite Leader of Republicans, Unpopular Among Democrats

Poll's results serve as further evidence of a growing partisan gap in the United States on issues relating to Israel

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers his speech as U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman listen, during the opening ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018.
Sebastian Scheiner/AP

WASHINGTON – A new poll in the United States shows that the American public is split along party lines in its approach to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to the Gallup poll, 64 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of Netanyahu, while only 17 percent of Democrats have a favorable view of him.

The split serves as further evidence of a growing partisan gap in the United States on issues relating to Israel.

According to the poll, which was released on Tuesday, Netanyahu is arguably the most popular world leader among Republicans. The poll asked respondents about their views on a number of world leaders, and among Republicans, Netanyahu received the highest percentage of favorable responses. Among Democrats, meanwhile, he was one of the least popular, with only North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Putin receiving less favorable responses.

Among all respondents, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was the most popular leader - 48 percent of respondents had a favorable view of him. British PM Theresa May came in second with 46 percent. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was viewed favorably by 39 percent of respondents, and Netanyahu by 37 percent. Putin, who came in fifth, lagged far behind with 13 percent who viewed him favorably.

While there were significant gaps between how all the leaders were viewed by supporters of the two largest political parties, that gap was the widest with regards to Netanyahu. May, for example, was viewed favorably by 48 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of Democrats. Trudeau was viewed favorably by 30 percent of Republicans and 67 percent of Democrats. Merkel - by 27 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of Democrats.

The gap in views when it came to Netanyahu was much more considerable – 64 percent of Republicans versus 17 percent of Democrats. Netanyahu also had a relatively low level of support among self-ascribed independents. Only 30 percent of them said they had a favorable view of Netanyahu, compared to 39 percent for Merkel and May, and 48 percent for Trudeau.