The survey's findings suggest overwhelmingly that it is the administration's failures on the Israeli-Palestinian front which drove the collapse in Arab attitudes towards Obama. Sixty-one percent of the respondents say that this is the area in which they are most disappointed (Iraq, at 27 percent, is the only other issue which cracks double digits -- only one percent name "spreading democracy"). Only one percent say they are pleased with his policy.
Fifty-four percent name an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement as one of two things which would most improve their views of the United States (withdrawing from Iraq is second, at 45 percent, and stopping aid to Israel third at 43 percent ). The numbers of Arabs saying they are prepared for peace with Israel has risen -- to 86 percent -- but so has the number who say that Israel will not give up the occupied territories (from 45 percent to 56 percent ). Only 12 percent -- down from 25 percent last year -- say that Arabs should continue to fight even if there is a two-state peace agreement. Should a two-state solution collapse, 57 percent expect intense conflict for years to come, 30% expect the status quo, and only ten percent expect a one-state solution.
The powerful logic of insisting on a freeze to settlement construction and a viable two-state solution - essential to turning the propaganda tide in the terror war - is based in Arab public opinion. The reason many of us supported Obama was his unique capacity to win over the Muslim middle and isolate the Jihadist fringe. Israel's government, and its most ferocious supporters in the US, have done a great deal to destroy that promise, and, in so doing, have weakened the United States in the war on Jihadist terror.
Hence my anger. It is one thing for Israelis to commit their own national suicide; it is another thing for them to cripple their most important ally in a war we have to win.