Arab opinion on Obama dims in 2010 as compared to 2009

August 5th, 2010 - 1:11 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Aug.5 (ANI): A 2010 Arab Public Opinion poll to be released Thursday at the Brookings Institution by Shibley Telhami, of the University of Maryland and Brookings’ Saban Center for Middle East Policy, will reveal a significant drop in Arab world views of President Obama from a year ago.

According to Politico, the annual survey, conducted in conjunction with Zogby International, polled 3,976 people in six countries - Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates - in June and July.

The most striking finding is that while early in the Obama administration, in April and May 2009, some 51 percent of those polled expressed optimism about American policy in the Middle East; in the 2010 poll, only 16 percent were hopeful, while a majority, 64 percent, were discouraged.

“The data leaves little doubt that the deciding factor in the shift of opinion toward the Obama administration is disappointment on the Israeli-Palestinian issue,” Telhami said by e-mail.

“Basically, Arabs have concluded that he can’t deliver on his promises at best, or that he’s just like Bush at worst,” George Washington University Middle East specialist and writer Marc Lynch said.

Other key findings are that views on the Arab-Israeli conflict and its prospects for resolution have remained stable, and that a slight majority of the Arab public now sees a nuclear-armed Iran as being better for the Middle East. (ANI)

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