40% of Israelis say strike on Syria ‘political’

13% of respondents say they were "definitely sure" the upcoming Israeli election was considered when authorizing the attack.

January 23, 2015 06:28
2 minute read.

UNIFIL troops stand on a lookout point in Kfar Kila village near the Lebanese-Israeli border, in south Lebanon. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Political considerations were involved in the decision to attack Hezbollah operatives and an Iranian general in Syria earlier this week, 40 percent of Israelis said, according to a Panels poll taken Wednesday for The Jerusalem Post and its Hebrew-language sister newspaper Maariv Sof Hashavua.

Israel has not taken responsibility for the strike, but 13% of respondents said they were “definitely sure” the upcoming Israeli election was considered when authorizing the attack.

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Another 27% said they thought it was a factor. Twenty-four percent said they did not think it was a factor and 28% said they were sure it was not. Eight percent said they did not know.

Only 9% of respondents said Wednesday’s terrorist attack on a Tel Aviv bus would impact their political views. Among them, all said it would shift them rightward.

Asked how to define their sense of security, 57% said it remained unchanged, 38% said it had worsened and 5% said it had improved.

Despite the small proportion of respondents who said their sense of security had improved, support for the incumbent, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, had not fallen.

The Panels poll showed that the proportion of respondents saying they wanted Netanyahu to remain prime minister rose by 2 percentage points since last week, from 36% to 38%, and the proportion saying they wanted him replaced fell from 58% to 55%. The joint Labor-Hatnua list’s lead over Netanyahu’s Likud fell from three Knesset seats to two, with the poll predicting 24 for Labor-Hatnua and 22 for the Likud.

A TNS Teleseker poll on Channel 1, which gave Labor-Hatnua a one-seat lead last week, predicted a two-seat lead for the Likud on Thursday night, at 26 to 24. The Panels poll predicted 15 seats for Bayit Yehudi, down from 17 last week. Yesh Atid would receive 11 mandates, Koolanu eight, United Torah Judaism seven, four for former Shas chairman Eli Yishai’s Yachad Ha’am Itanu, and six each for Shas, Yisrael Beytenu and Meretz.

The poll, which was taken before it appeared that the country’s Arab parties would unite, found that the United Arab List would win six seats, Hadash five and Balad none.

One-third of the poll’s respondents were undecided about how to vote. Bayit Yehudi, Likud and Labor-Hatnua voters were most sure of their votes, and Yesh Atid voters the least sure.

Asked what would affect their vote the most, 38% said the party’s ideology, 27% its leader, and 25% the makeup of its list.

Among Likud voters, the percentage saying the leader of the party mattered most was 54%. Among those voting for Labor-Hatnua, it was only 15%.

The poll of 508 respondents represented a statistical sample of the adult Israeli population and had a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.

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