US takes Israel’s interests into account, Israelis say overwhelmingly– while Germans, French, Brits and Russians feel left out

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A new Pew Research Center poll of global attitudes says that while most countries see the U.S. as not considering their country’s interests in foreign policy decisions, far and away the people of one country regard the U.S. as taking their country’s interest into account. Israel!

Eighty-six percent of Israelis say that the U.S. takes their country’s interests into account. That is a far larger percentage than any other country surveyed–

Across the 25 countries where the question was asked, a median of just 28% say the U.S. takes their country’s interests into account when making international decisions. In fact, majorities across Europe, and in neighboring Canada and Mexico, say that the U.S. does not take into account their interests when making foreign policy.

“Some of America’s top allies and partners” score in the teens or twenties on this scale, Pew says– 27 percent in the U.K., 19 in Germany, 18 in France. And for all the worries about Russia having something on Trump, only 26 percent of Russians think that the U.S. is taking Russian interests into account.

Israelis felt that way about the U.S. under Obama too– 69 percent in 2013 said that the U.S. took Israel’s interests into account. But it’s only gotten better:

Israel saw the biggest increase [from 2013 to 2018], perhaps due to recent U.S. actions, such as scrapping the Iran nuclear deal and moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem…

By contrast, over that same period, the number of Germans who believe the U.S. takes their country’s interest into account dropped from 50 percent in 2013 to just 19 percent today.

US takes Israel’s interests into account, Israelis say. Pew Global.

Trump is doing well in Israel. At a time when few in the world have positive opinions of Donald Trump, Israelis stand out: they have great confidence that Trump will do the right thing. “America’s global image plummeted following the election of President Donald Trump, amid widespread opposition to his administration’s policies and a widely shared lack of confidence in his leadership,” Pew observes.

Israelis have confidence that Trump will do the right thing, 69 to 31– the reverse of most peoples’ view of our president.

Pew Global poll on confidence in Trump in other nations.

While the image of the U.S. turns “sour” in Canada and across western Europe, the U.S. is popular in Israel: 83 percent favorability.

US favorability in the world, per Pew Research global survey. Oct. 1, 2018.

In summary: Germany has a 30 percent favorability rating for the U.S. and a 10 percent confidence level in Trump; Mexico scores 32 and 6; Netherlands, 34 and 19, Canada, 39 and 25; Japan, 67 and 30.

But Israel: 83 and 69. Says Pew:

Confidence in President Trump has increased significantly in Israel since 2017. Trump also receives substantially higher ratings than Obama got near the end of his second term, although they are very similar to the high ratings for Obama in 2014, before tensions rose between his administration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the Iran nuclear deal. As has been the case in recent years, around eight-in-ten Israelis express a favorable opinion about the U.S. At 52%, Israelis are more likely than any other public surveyed to say the U.S. is doing more to address global problems than a few years ago. Israel also tops the list in terms of the share of the public (79%) saying that relations with the U.S. have improved in the past year.

Confidence in Trump in Israel. Pew Research, Oct. 2018.

And though we talk about the rise of the right in Europe, Israel’s rightwingers are way keener on the U.S. than European nationalists.

[A]mong people in France who have a favorable view of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (formerly known as the National Front), 57% have a positive opinion of the U.S. vs. only 36% among those who have a negative opinion of the National Rally. Similar divides exist among supporters and detractors of Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Germany; the League (formerly called the Northern League) and the Five Star Movement in Italy; UKIP in the UK; Jobbik in Hungary; and the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands.

But those scores are 94 percent to 57 percent in Israel. That is to say, those on the left in Israel score the same as rightwingers in Europe when it comes to favorability toward the U.S.!

Israeli right is far more supportive of the U.S. than rightwing nationalists in Europe.

Next, here’s your creeping fascism index. Most people in most countries regard the U.S. as an enemy of civil liberties in the U.S. But not Israel!

Another difference. Israelis are the most convinced of any people in the world that the global role of the U.S. has gotten more positive in the past two years: About half of Israelis (52%) say the U.S. is doing more “to help address major global problems.” Europeans by overwhelming proportions say the U.S. is doing less not more to address global problems.

Is the US doing more or less to solve world problems? Pew asks.

And relations between the U.S. and Israel have gotten better in the last year, to a degree that no other country’s people feel. Nearly four out of five Israeli say relations with the U.S. have improved, obviously because of the Iran deal and the Jerusalem gambit. No one else comes close!

Things go better with Trump in 2018, Israel says. Pew Global poll.

Lastly, here’s Pew’s discussion about the U.S. acting in other countries’ interests. Most countries regard the U.S. as selfish. Obama lessened that perception, but Trump has heightened that view, especially among some of our “top allies and partners.” Not Israel.

A common criticism about American foreign policy over the past decade and a half has been that the U.S. only looks after its own interests in world affairs, ignoring the interests of other nations. As Pew Research Center surveys showed, this belief was especially prevalent during George W. Bush’s presidency, when many around the world thought the U.S. was pursuing unilateralist, and unpopular, policies. Strong opposition to the Iraq War and other elements of Bush’s foreign policy led to rising complaints about the U.S. acting alone and ignoring the interests and concerns of other nations.

Opinions shifted following Barack Obama’s election, with more people saying the U.S. considers their country’s interest, although even during the Obama years the prevailing global sentiment was that the U.S. doesn’t necessarily consider other countries. Now, the Trump presidency has brought an increase in the number of people in many nations saying the U.S. essentially doesn’t listen to countries like theirs when making foreign policy.

This pattern is especially pronounced among some of America’s top allies and partners. For instance, while the share of the French public who believe the U.S. considers their national interest has not been very high at any point over the past decade and a half, it reached a low point near the end of Bush’s second term (11% in 2007), rose somewhat during Obama’s presidency (35% in 2013) and has declined once more under Trump. Today, just 18% in France say the U.S. considers the interests of countries like theirs when making policy.

Again: Eighty-six percent of Israelis say that the U.S. takes their country’s interests into account, up from 69 percent under Obama in 2013.


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The only country whose interests America should take into account is America. The only country whose interests Russia should take into account is Russia. The only country whose interests Finland should take into account is Finland. And so on and so forth. That’s how it’s always been. Nation states don’t have ‘friends’. They have shared interests, which ebb and flow over time. Historians in future generations will look back in amazement at how the most… Read more »

Thanks Phil for sharing that Israelis have a very positive view of the United States. It is also a beautiful thing that Americans have a very positive view of Israel.

Dick and Jane don,t much care as long as they have their house with white picket fence and she has her car and dick has his pick up truck and they can afford a trip to Vegas once in a while. What,s the problem if their leaders are selling the USA to the highest bidder. Ironically , Dick and Jane will be front and center at Trump,s rallies asserting their love for America and undying… Read more »

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1h 25min | Documentary | 30 May 2017
The furor over the addition of two Muslim players to the Beitar Jerusalem soccer club underscores the role of institutionalized racism in Israel.
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Thanks for pointing out that even a bozo like trump can see that Obama made a deal that he never satisfactorily explained to the American people how it was in American interests. What was supposed to curtail Iranian expansionism into Yemen Iraq, Syria Lebanon and Kurdistan and benefit the Iranian people unsurprisingly made the situation worse. Thanks for also pointing out that European appeasement and cowardice is alive and well and that Europe’s main concern… Read more »