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Support for Trump higher in Israel than almost any other nation: poll

In this May 23, 2017, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands at the Israel museum in Jerusalem.
AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, File
Trump had a higher confidence rating only in the Philippines

US President Donald Trump’s popularity is higher in Israel than almost any other nation, despite historic low approval ratings among other key American allies, results from a new survey by the Pew Research Center published Tuesday show.

The survey of America’s global image among 25 nations, including all of the United States leading European allies, shows Trump’s international approval rating plummeting amid widespread opposition to his administration’s policies and lack of confidence in his leadership.

The poll recorded historically low support for Trump among key allies including Britain, where only 28% of respondents said they had confidence in the US president, Canada (25%), and France and Germany where Trump’s confidence ratings stood below 10%.

But Israel stood out as an exception, where Trump’s popularity jumped to 69%, up from 56% in 2017 on the heels of a number of pro-Israel policy moves including the transfer of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

The survey found that 82% of Jewish Israelis have confidence in Trump’s handling of global affairs while 94% of Jewish Israelis (but only 43% of Arab-Israelis) have a favorable view of the US in general (83% overall).

Courtesy Pew Research Center

Trump had a higher confidence rating only in the Philippines, where 78% of respondents viewed the president favorably. Israel was tied with the Philippines for the highest overall rating for the current administration at 83%.

The poll found that large majorities of the international public express concern about the United States’ role in world affairs and feel that the US doesn’t take into account their countries’ interests when making foreign policy decisions.

Israelis, by contrast, are “more likely than any other public surveyed to say the US is doing more to address global problems than a few years ago” and Israel “tops the list in terms of the share of the public – 79 percent – saying that relations with the U.S. have improved in the past year.”

Trump’s favorability rating in Israel (69%) is significantly higher than those of former US President Barack Obama at the end of his term in 2016, after he clashed with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the Iran nuclear deal.

But Trump’s marks are lower than Obama’s peak favorability among Israelis (71% in 2014), before tensions rose with his administration. Trump’s confidence rating in Israel is also lower than that of former president George W. Bush which stood at 83% as he entered war in Iraq in 2003.

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