Israel and Russia only countries to view Trump more favourably than Obama, poll shows

President Donald Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at an official welcoming ceremony on the president’s arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, May 22, 2017. (Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at an official welcoming ceremony on the president’s arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, May 22, 2017. (Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Israel and Russia were the only two countries to have a more favourable view of U.S. President Donald Trump than his predecessor, Barack Obama, at the end of his time in office, a survey found.

The annual survey by the Pew Research Center on America’s image abroad also found that some 81 per cent of Israelis have a positive view of the United States under Trump, compared with a median of 58 per cent, according to the results released Tuesday.

Some 40,447 respondents in 37 countries outside the United States answered the survey from Feb. 16 to May 8.

Israel’s favourability rating of the United States has held steady over the past several surveys, including 81 per cent in 2015, 84 per cent in 2014, and 83 per cent in 2013. In 2009, the rating was at 71 per cent, the lowest since the survey was started 15 years ago.

In Russia, 41 per cent have a favourable view of the United States under Trump, compared with 15 per cent under Obama.

Israelis’ confidence in Trump was measured at 56 per cent, compared to 49 per cent for Obama at the end of his second four-year term. But the median showed 22 per cent confidence in Trump and 64 per cent in Obama.

The survey also found that 69 per cent of Israelis surveyed said they considered Trump to be a strong leader, compared to a median of 55 per cent. Some 54 per cent of Israelis said Trump is well qualified to serve as president; the median was 26 per cent.

Considering the border wall with Mexico, 42 per cent of Israelis supported Trump’s idea, compared with 24 per cent from all countries surveyed. On Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, 69 per cent of Israelis were opposed, comparing to the 71 per cent of the other countries surveyed.

“The sharp decline in how much global publics trust the U.S. president on the world stage is especially pronounced among some of America’s closest allies in Europe and Asia, as well as neighbouring Mexico and Canada,” according to the survey.

Among close U.S. allies, in Germany, the favourability ranking for the U.S. has dropped to 11 per cent under Trump from 86 under Obama; in France, 14 per cent from 84 per cent, and in Canada, 22 per cent from 83 per cent. Sweden saw a drop to 10 per cent from 93 per cent.

Among Middle East countries, the U.S. did not fare particularly well under either president, but again there was more confidence in Obama. Some numbers: Turkey 11 per cent for Trump, 45 for Obama; Jordan, five per cent and 14 per cent, and Lebanon, 11 per cent and 36 per cent.

Many countries that have had poor relations with the U.S. over many years were not among those questioned, such as Syria and Iraq.

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