Israel keeps positive image among Americans: Poll

Washington, Feb 16 (IANS) A new poll showed that 71 per cent of Americans have a favourable view of Israel while 27 per cent hold an unfavourable one.

The Gallup poll released on Wednesday comes as US President Donald Trump sought to strengthen the bond between the two traditional allies after eight years of colder-than-usual relations under the administration of former President Barack Obama, Xinhua news agency reported.

To work on that, Trump held his first meeting as U.S. President with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday.

The survey, conducted from February 1 to 5, found 29 per cent of the interviewees viewed Israel very favourably, 42 percent mostly favourably, 21 per cent mostly unfavourably, and 6 per cent very unfavourably.

Data also showed that 8 per cent had no opinion of the Middle Eastern country.

Israel enjoys a positive image among all major US demographic and political groups, particularly the Republicans and adults aged 65 and older, Gallup found.

From 2005 to 2012, Israel’s favourable score in the United States varied between 63 per cent and 71 per cent, mostly below 70 per cent.

Before that, it had been more volatile, as it once surged to 79 per cent during the 1991 Gulf War, but registered below 60 per cent in 1989, 1991, 1992, 2000, 2002 and 2004, Gallup said.

For his part, Netanyahu received more positive views than negative ones from the Americans, with 49 per cent US adults voting favourably, Gallup added.

Gallup asked the Americans to give their impression of Israel and other numerous countries each year, as part of its annual February World Affairs survey.