Survey examines Americans’ opinion on Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia

With US President Joe Biden preparing to embark on a high-profile trip to Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia in mid-July, which he described as a “pariah” following the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an analysis published by the “Washington Post” said the US president “now risks making many Americans angry” to continue his journey.

The analysis, conducted by the University of Maryland professor and researcher at the Brookings Institution, Shepley Telhami, indicated that Biden’s planned visit to Israel and the West Bank “could also play into the hands of critics”, “which the United States accused it of not pushing hard enough to end the ongoing Israeli occupation since contracts for Palestinian lands, while at the same time mobilizing major efforts to confront the Russian occupation of parts of Ukraine.

Biden’s visit to oil-rich Saudi Arabia comes because Russia’s war in Ukraine has turbulent energy prices, leading to speculation that oil is the real reason for his visit.

But Biden rejected it, saying the real goal was the broader summit of Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia, a meeting he saw as promoting Israel’s national security interests.

Last week, Biden noted that Israeli leaders had put him under pressure to attend, and the reporter suggested that they might want to help him make peace with Riyadh.

The analysis said it is possible that the US president is trying to dampen hopes that his visit could lead to lower fuel prices in the United States, but Biden’s focus on Israel as the focus of his trip “weak curiosity, and perhaps an optimistic expecting that this trip will help him gain popular support. ” “.

What do Americans think of Biden’s journey?

In his analysis in the Washington Post, Tulhami stated that between June 22 and 28, he conducted a survey of “sensitive issues” at the University of Maryland with the help of Professor Stella Rous, which included a group of 2,208 adults in the United States included. , with an error margin of 2.09 percent.

He said they divided the group into three samples and asked the participants if they supported or opposed Biden’s journey or had no opinions about it, but the difference between the three groups was to give a different introduction that the questions preceded.

In the first group, the researchers gave a brief introduction to the visit: “As I have heard, President Biden is planning a high-level visit to the Middle East, including Israel and Saudi Arabia.”

In the second, researchers highlighted Biden’s message about aid to Israel: “As I have heard, President Biden is planning a high-profile visit to the Middle East, including Israel and Saudi Arabia. President Biden explained his visit to Saudi Arabia and “This is a bigger meeting that is taking place. In Saudi Arabia. That’s why I’m going. It’s about their national security, ‘that is, for the Israelis.'”

As for the third, the researchers emphasized what Biden said about Saudi Arabia: “As I have heard, President Biden is planning a high-level visit to the Middle East region, including to Israel as well as to Saudi Arabia, a important country in the world.energy market, but it is also the one that Biden promised ‘to make them in reality pariahs as they are.

In all the stories, Talhami said, there was no mention of the Palestinians and the Israeli occupation, or of Khashoggi’s assassination.

The result?

Talhami notes that regardless of the ways in which questions were presented, respondents showed little enthusiasm for Biden’s trip to the Middle East, with less than a quarter of them generally agreeing to the trip, and for the sample that received the neutral introduction, about 24 percent of the trip approved while being rejected.25 percent.

In the second group, which includes the mention of Israel, about 25 percent agreed to the trip, and 31 percent were against it. As for the third group, which includes the focus on Saudi Arabia and oil, about 23 percent of them supported the trip, while 33 percent opposed it.

Telhami noted that the mention of Israel increased the respondents’ rejection of the trip from about 25 percent, for the neutral introduction, to 31 percent of the group in which it was mentioned.

And Talhami adds, “As expected, Republican respondents were more opposed to the trip than Democrats, but Republican rejection of the trip was higher in the front that focused on Saudi Arabia, reaching about 54 percent, by comparison. with the rejection of the trip.neutral front among Republicans, which amounted to about 41 percent.

The Democrats’ disapproval was highest when Israel is mentioned, at 17 percent, compared to 10 percent in the neutral sample.

Tilhami said that despite the concern of the American public about the rise in oil prices, it appears that the Americans are also concerned about the human rights record in Saudi Arabia, which indicates that this is the reason why the mention of the Kingdom led to ‘ a high rate of rejection, as this option included a reference to a statement Biden’s exclusion, but without extension.

He stated that “whatever Biden’s intention is with the announcement that his trip is aimed at improving Israeli security, it does not seem to be helping him advance his trip. In fact, it could put him in his Democratic constituency. harmed, “according to the American newspaper.

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