In the world of Barack Obama, talking directly to people ensures that they will like him and do what he wants. So, for his trip to Israel, Obama is eschewing speaking at the Knesset, as his two predecessors did, and instead plans to speak at a convention center where he can directly address the Israeli people.
There’s one small problem. Israelis don’t like him. They really don’t like him.
In a new poll by the Maagar Mohot Institute and Israeli leftist daily Maariv, only 10 percent of Israelis view Obama favorably.
Of those polled, 32 percent said they don't like him but respect him, 19 percent view him unfavorably, and 17 percent have a highly unfavorable opinion of him. In addition, 38 percent believe Obama is hostile to Israel.
Meanwhile, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said Obama's speech "will allow him to speak to not just the political leadership... but the Israeli public and Israeli young people. The speech is a moment where he’ll be in the room with the Israeli public and that really was our priority."