President Biden’s Visit, in Retrospect
After President Biden's visit to Israel, more Israelis are convinced of his commitment to ensuring Israel’s security when negotiating with Iran.
Treaty with Saudi Arabia
Ahead of President Biden’s visit to Israel and the Middle East last month, we asked: “To what extent do you believe or not believe in President Biden’s ability to bring about a breakthrough on advancing a peace agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia?” We found that the Jewish respondents were divided, with 45.5% believing in Biden’s capability to bring about such a breakthrough, and an identical share who demurred. Among Arab respondents, 35% believed that he could accomplish this, and 39% did not (the rest didn’t know).
With the conclusion of the visit, we asked: “Following President Biden’s visit to Israel, to what extent did the things that were said and agreed during the visit convince you that he has the capability to bring about a breakthrough in relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia?” The findings indicate disappointment: The deadlock in the Jewish sample was broken, and now a majority of 54% of Jews are not convinced that President Biden can bring about a breakthrough with Saudi Arabia, while only 37% believe he can. Among Arab respondents, 47% do not now believe that Biden can lead a breakthrough, while 36.5% think he can.
To what extent does President Biden have the capability to bring about a breakthrough in advancing a peace agreement with Saudi Arabia? (Jews and Arabs; %)
The Biden Administration’s commitment to ensuring Israel’s security in nuclear negotiations with Iran
Leading up to the Biden visit, we also asked last month: “To what extent do you trust or not trust the Biden administration to take Israel’s interests into account during its negotiations with Iran over the nuclear deal?” After the visit, we asked: “Following President Biden’s visit to Israel, to what extent did the things that were said and agreed during the visit convince you that the Biden administration is careful to take Israel’s security into account in its negotiations with Iran?” On this issue, there was a rise in the proportion of respondents who believe that the Biden administration is careful to take Israel’s security into account during negotiations with Iran, from 15% before the visit to 34% after among Jews, and from 20.5% to 26% among Arabs.
To what extent is the Biden administration careful to take Israel’s security into account during its negotiations with Iran? (Jews and Arabs; %)
On this issue, the differences between the political camps (among Jewish respondents) are very large. Of those who define themselves as on the Left, a majority of 56% were convinced after the visit that the Biden administration takes Israel’s security into account during negotiations with Iran; a large minority of those in the Center took the same view (41%); while on the Right, less than a third concurred (27.5%).
To what extent is the Biden administration careful to take Israel’s security into account during its negotiations with Iran? (Jews, by political orientation; %)
Overall, then, the Israel public thinks that the visit did not generate the hoped-for benefits regarding a breakthrough in relations with Saudi Arabia, but it did strengthen to some extent the belief that the Biden administration keeps Israel in mind during its negotiations with Iran.
The July 2022 Israeli Voice Index was prepared by the Viterbi Family Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research at the Israel Democracy Institute. The survey was conducted via the internet and by telephone (to include groups that are under-represented on the internet) between July 25 and July 27, 2022, with 600 men and women interviewed in Hebrew and 150 in Arabic, constituting a nationally representative sample of the adult population in Israel aged 18 and over. The maximum sampling error was ±3.59% at a confidence level of 95%. Field work was carried out by Midgam Research and Consulting Ltd. The full data file can be found at: Data Israel.