Netanyahu's U.S. trip helps strengthen hardline coalition in Israel

14:15, May 27, 2011      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, May 20, 2011. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

By Adam Gonn, Susana Mendoza

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned from a weeklong trip to the United States, he did so as a winner, both in his own eyes and the Israeli public's.

"We found wide American support for Israel's basic demands," Netanyahu said Wednesday at a press conference after landing in Israel.

According to a Dialog institute poll released on Thursday, 47 percent of the Israeli public believes Netanyahu's U.S. trip was a success, while only 10 percent viewed it as a failure.

In addition, nearly half of the interviewees said that they felt proud when they saw Netanyahu address the Congress on Tuesday, compared to five percent that deemed it a missed opportunity.

However, in the months leading up to the visit, Israeli media was speculating that "Bibi," as he is known in Israel, would use the U.S. congress speech to present new ideas to break the current deadlock in the peace process with the Palestinians. No new ideas were presented in the end, as many international observers considered.

Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was quoted as saying that the Israeli prime minister "did not say anything that we can build on positively."

Israeli analysts said that Netanyahu was in a stronger position than before leaving, but that it was hard to say whether or not he was successful because no one really knew his goals.


Prof. Efraim Inbar of Bar-Ilan University told Xinhua that he doesn't know what Netanyahu wanted to achieve, but that the prime minster improved his standing. "Netanyahu has solidified support for his government here, he has a very stable coalition which is going strong," he said.

"In public opinions, he does very well with America which is very important to him. They applaud him," Inbar added.

Netanyahu during his speech to the U.S. Congress reconfirmed his government's rejection over the so-called 1967 borders and Israel's strong position on the issues like the status of Jerusalem and future Palestinian state's demilitarization, while expressing his willingness "to make painful compromises to achieve " the peace with Palestinians.

The Dialog survey revealed that 51 percent of Israelis support Netanyahu after his speech in the U.S. congress, a result considered by Ha'aretz as a "reverse" of the trend of Netanyahu's drop in his popularity ratings. A poll conducted by the Israeli daily five weeks ago concluded as 38 percent expressed satisfaction with the prime minister's performance and 53 percent disappointed.

Prof. Camile Fuchs, who contributed to the Dialog poll, noted the fact that the majority of Israeli voters become right-winged as behind the result of the recent poll.

"Therefore, his speech about not giving up the settlements and no negotiation with the Palestinian National Authority as long as they negotiate with Hamas was welcome here," the professor of the Tel Aviv University Statistics Department told Xinhua.

【1】 【2】

Wen Jiabao attends trilateral leaders' meeting of China,Japan and ROK
The Third China-U.S.Strategic and Economic Dialogue
  Weekly review  
May 20   World Economic Forum China office marks fifth anniversary
May 18   China, Pakistan joined in bonds of brotherhood
May 20   'Central axis' of Beijing applies for world cultural heritage
May 20   In pictures: Int'l 'Financial Security' symposium opens in Beijing
May 21   The week in pictures
May 16   Beijing aims for massive influx of overseas talent in 2011
May 16   Singapore election coverage shows Western arrogance
May 16   Chinese naval helicopter conducts target practice in Gulf of Aden
May 17   Strategies for harmony between militaries of China, US
May 17   Pakistani Prime Minister hails China as true friend


  • Do you have anything to say?
  • Netanyahu's U.S. trip helps strengthen hardline coalition in Israel
  • Sharapova fights back to win second match at French Open
  • Worst drought in 6 decades hits C China's Wuhan
  • Worst drought in 6 decades hits C China's Wuhan
  • Yan-j releases second album in Taipei
  • Drought turns China's largest freshwater lake into 'prairie'