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February 18, 2015 12:40 pm

Recent Poll Shows Americans Want Netanyahu to Address Congress on Iranian Threat

avatar by David Daoud

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Most Americans Want PM Netanyahu to Address Congress. PHOTO: Avi Ohayon/GPO.

The White House, many Congressional Democrats and even some Jewish groups have been pushing against Prime Minister Netanyahu’s upcoming address to Congress. Yet how much does their opposition reflect the views of average Americans? According to recent poll numbers published in Bloomberg, they are not representative at all. More Americans support than oppose the speech, despite the controversy.

The poll, sampling 1,563 respondents, was conducted by Paragon Insights on behalf of The Israel Project, and showed that 63 percent of Americans disapproved of the way the House Speaker John Boehner invited the Israeli Prime Minister to address Congress.

However, most Americans still want the Prime Minister to go through with the address. 43 percent of respondents agreed that, since Iran is getting closer to obtaining a nuclear weapon, Netanyahu’s status as one of the most knowledgeable world leaders on the Middle East and Iran made it critical for him to address Congress before the upcoming March 31 deadline for a framework between world powers and Iran.

By contrast, only 25 percent of respondents agreed that the timing of the address – two weeks before Israel’s elections – was inappropriate. When the poll  question was phrased differently – whether Netanyahu should be barred from addressing Congress due to his political interests – only 22 percent agreed.

Moreover, more Americans (47 percent to 32 percent) disapproved of the Administration’s reaction to the upcoming speech. The President, Vice President Biden, Secretary Kerry and several Democratic lawmakers have pledged to boycott the speech, but the poll suggests there will be political backlash for the Democratic party from such a move.

More than one third of respondents said they would be less likely to vote to re-elect their congressman if he or she boycotted the speech, while only 27 percent said it would make them more likely to support reelection.

The poll was conducted online from February 12-16 by Paragon’s Nathan Klein, and the results have a 2.5 percent margin of error. Just over half of respondents described themselves as “supporters” or “strong supporters” of Israel.

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  • Bob Dinerstein

    I, for one, am sick and tired of Obama behaving like a spoiled brat over Boehner’s invitation for Netanyahu to address Congress.

    We have three separate and distinct branches of government – Executive [The President], Legislative [Congress] and Judiciary [Supreme Court and the other federal courts]. The Constitution vests in each of them very specific powers and authority and, last time I read the Constitution [last week], no where did I find that it requires that Congress must clear invitations it extends with the White House. Especially, as here, the issue is one which Congress sees as threatening the US and the US’ interests and many in Congress have reservations as to how the Executive branch is handling the issue.

    It is particularly ironic that Obama and his acolytes are complaining of an alleged breach in protocol. As I recall it was after the Democrats suffered a landslide loss in the mid-term elections, that Obama arrogantly announced that, the citizenry’s wishes notwithstanding, he had a phone and a pen and would use them to implement “his” policies despite his being well aware that such policies were not enacted by Congress and they probably would not be passed by Congress.

    The imperious Obama ignores the separation of powers without hesitation but cries like an envious infant when Congress acts fully within its Constitutional powers.

    It is time that the Congress started to exercise its power and represent those who elected them and stopped devoting so much of its time and effort to politics. Concomitant therewith, Congress must find a way to thwart Obama from acting in contravention of the Executive Branch’s delegated powers.

  • Pierre Elie Mamou

    great news: after so much lies (J Street, for instance) people wants to know how much the pay Iran to make bombs to throw on Israel first,and after on countries where women dot not wear niqag, burka, chador…

  • Signe knapp

    I support Netanyahu, his visit by any means is a good thing. My only problem is the poll. I really don’t think those answering the questions had a clue as to who Netanyahu is, Obama’s disrespect for him, or what position he holds.

  • Ivan Gur-Arie

    I hope that in 2016 the American electorate remembers those in the Democratic party who support the boycott. I personally will vote Republican next time around.

  • Carol Bailenson

    The timing couldn’t be more perfect……this is the same time Queen Esther rendered her plea before the King to save the Jews resulting in our holiday of Purim commemorating this victory. We can only pray that we see the same results.

  • Gloria Caldwell

    I am glad the speaker of the house invited Netanyahu to speak. I think he is the most qualified. I support Israel and do not apport any politician that does not. President Obama should be ashamed at his actions and threats to boycot the speech.

  • William J. Hirsch

    Based on broad discussions with many people, the consensus is that Netanyahu’s decision to “end-run” Obama is against Israel’s best interest & a reflection of N’s ego-arrogance.
    No one likes a bully.
    Bill Hirsch

    • Elmo Glick

      “broad discussions” among “many people”….

      Can you provide more details? Who, your sister-in-law and her two cats?

      Yeah, right.

    • debra

      William, I don’t believe the prime minister would do anything to harm Israel. Bibi has the most knowledge of ANY leader about Iran and what goes on in this area of the world.
      He is coming to the united states to inform. a nuke in the hands of Iranians is a danger the world can ill afford.
      Is he coming here for help to convince us and the world that Iran would be tremendously dangerous to Israel with a nuke, yes probably. But then does anyone think they will not use that bomb on another country? it may be Israel first…. BUT, and I will say this one thousand and one times….

      They (whomever) start with the Jews, but there they do not stop… and who will be next to be bombed by Iran ?

      It is upsetting to me that the most important politicos in this nation…. our president, secretary of state Kerry, vice president biden and others are not interested in the knowledge that Netanyahu has. it is beginning to remind me of these Divestment voting in countries and in many colleges.

      so odd, with the horrors of muslim, Islamic terrorism spreading like a killer cancer, why is every one so eager to condem Israel for defending themselves when bombs fly into the country without provocation.
      They haven’t paraded their prisoners in the streets locked in cages..
      They haven’t burned to death any living person.
      They haven’t beheaded thirty Christians, Englishmen,or Jordanian soldiers……or AMERICAN citizens.

      Hello!!! Talk about a double standard… my gosh it is so striking I don’t see how a blind man can miss it…

      • Grogie Von Jon

        when are the Israelis going to leave he occupied territory?


    No matter how it’s done Netanyahu SHOULD address Congress

    • Grogie Von Jon

      no Netanyahu is the biggest enemy of this country!

  • Fred

    The only one who does not want to hear Netanyahu is the First Muslim President of the USA Barak Hussein Obama.
    He who introduced that there is no evil extreme Muslim about and all the mayhem is just a Kindergarten show.

  • Nate Spiewak

    Who better know the danger that would happen if Iran has the atomic bomb Israel people would be in danger of been destroy.

  • steven L

    Most intelligent American non-Jews most likely want to know what is going on with the single most important international issue concerning the future of the Western world. Anybody uninterested is a MORON.

  • diane wiener

    lets hear what he has to say

  • Julian Clovelley

    The idea that a poll of 1563 in a nation of 317 million is ridiculous enough, but when you add to that that the poll was conducted by a Republican Pollster on behalf of a pro Israeli lobby – and that is was conducted “on line” it’s credibility is shot to pieces. But really , who cares? Pols are mostly silly games.

    Quite what Netanyahu has to say on his chosen subject that those who matter in deciding policy – Government or Opposition – don’t know, remains to be seen. Maybe the intelligence and diplomatic services of Israel know more than America does – but I rather doubt it – it is far more likely to be the other way round.

    So what one has left is mostly Israeli electioneering, and an attempt to capture the Jewish vote for the Republican Party. The latter seems rather silly in that the next Administration could easily be a Democrat one, that the Israeli Prime Minister has already offended from the floor of Congress.

    I cannot help thinking that had the poll been conducted properly in the streets of any number of the thousands of localities in the US the most likely response would include a high degree of disinterest.

    What’s there to talk about, except directly to representatives of the Iranian Government? – and that is hardly likely to properly occur in an environment of warmongering and lack of essential respect on all sides

    The conservative policy in the Middle East has failed miserably. Is it really likely that any party is going to go to the polls in the next American elections of engaging in yet another war ?- this time with the potential to expand into a Vietnam War facsimile, including conscription, and a real threat of nuclear confrontation. I don’t think so

    What is left is pure electioneering – seen as that it is counter productive in its potential – for it is worth pointing out that to whatever Netanyahu says there is likely to be a full response, line by line and a counterbalancing of his view with exposure of the views of the Israeli Opposition.

    Netanyahu needs to grasp one vital reality.

    The middle east is in a terrible mess. Lives are being ruined on all sides. Palestinians and Israeli Arabs are being deprived of the futures they dream of – of the respect and equality of treatment and prosperity that should be their due – even of the Right to Statehood. Jewish Israelis are living under constant and often indiscriminate threat. BUT…

    It isn’t all about you, Bibi. It isn’t about theatrical performances in carefully chosen arenas. The bottom line is that present policies have not resulted in the necessary discussions and negotiations. Instead Israeli Jews find themselves in a position offside to almost every non Jewish international body of consequence – to include the UN, the ICC, the International Red Cross Geneva Conventions, Amnesty International and numerous international charities

    Sometimes a new man or woman can succeed where a succession of old ones have failed. Netanyahu’s present gambits seem expressive only of personal frustration and desperation, and perhaps that is the time to step aside – leaving the legacy of both good and bad that is the gift to his nation of any departing leader.

    Only a few years ago Jewish communities were seen as belonging as integral and valued parts of the countries in which they reside. Israeli Zionism – pursued through Netanyahu – sometimes no doubt against his will – has alienated these communities in many environments, undoing the work of generations since the war and before. It is not too late to put this right, but it means abandoning this concept of Jewishness as a racially defined continent, of which Israel is both a peninsular and the capital. In truth more Jews over the millennia have moved on than have remained and the drain is running faster. Zionism is pursuing a figment of Zionist imagination,

    And that is what – for want of a better term – is screwing everything up, for it is part of an intransigence and misplaced pride that is on a collision force between the widely divergent religious and social cultures in which it is embedded.

    • Elmo Glick

      You spent all this time with ignorant assertion after ignorant assertion, just to vent your hate against Israel?

      If you haven’t noticed, most polls conducted in the U.S. have sample sizes of between 1000 and 2000. Social scientists believe this is a sufficient sample size to develop conclusions about the entire U.S. population. Obviously, you know nothing about polling methodology.

      As far as intelligence? I doubt that the U.S. has better intelligence on Iran than Israel. I’ll leave it that.

      As far as Israeli Arabs being denied opportunity? Israeli Arabs are well represented in medical schools and the number is growing. Israeli Arabs are the most educated and have the best living standards of any Arab community in the Middle East. Israeli Arabs serve at the highest level of Israeli government.

      I could go on and on, but why bother. You don’t like Israel, and probably hate Jews, so why try to convince you with facts?

    • debra

      And THERE it is Julian isn’t it ? Zionisim… so you are honestly proclaiming a fact that Netanyahu does not know more about what is going on in his own back yard than America does ?
      Obviously you are not interested whether Iran is gearing up for a very near nuclear war or not, but there are some with (hopefully) brains in their heads who are interested to know.
      You do have an issue with this, what did you call it?, Jewishness as a racially defined continent.
      And quite naturally you are also of the ideation that Jewishness as the concept for the JEwish state of Israel, must be abandoned…
      and when Israel stops being the Jewish state all will be right with the world?
      WOW are you blind? Have you read about this terrorist organization called ISIS? or are you still looking the other way on the Iranian situation?
      I guess ISIS looks better to you than does a Jewish state for jews who are persecuted all over the world as anyone can plainly see now…. in the present day.

  • David

    Bibi has to show that the Ayatolla, bds, neo-liberals and nazis are one and the same. The appeal is to the Western world and Global South that has to live with mohammadeans on a daily basis.