Poll finds Israelis pessimistic on chances of US summit

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
October 11, 2007 22:26
1 minute read.

Israelis are skeptical about the chances for diplomatic progress at next month's Middle East conference to be attended by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Annapolis, Maryland, a Shvakim Panorama poll broadcast Thursday found. Israel Radio sponsored the poll, which found that 61.4 percent of the population believe the conference will not yield diplomatic progress and 22.8% think it will. The remaining 15.8% did not have an opinion. Asked whether they would be willing to relinquish Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem as part of a peace agreement with the Palestinians, 45.6% answered yes, 41.4% said no and 13% had no opinion. The poll offered a stark contrast to a Dahaf Institute survey published in Yediot Aharonot Tuesday, which asked the same question. In the Dahaf poll, 68% said no and just 20% said yes. When Dahaf asked respondents who should be sovereign over holy sites such as the Temple Mount and Western Wall, 61% said Israel alone, 21% said an international presence and 16% said Israel and the Palestinians together. A Dialog poll published in Haaretz on Thursday found that 51% of Israelis surveyed support the talks between Olmert and Abbas and 42% oppose them. The Olmert's approval rating as prime minister remained unchanged at 15% and his disapproval rating at 74%. Asked about the performance of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, 33% said they approved and 46% said they were dissatisfied, compared to 30% approval and 39% disapproval in a survey taken by the same pollster two months ago. A Gal Hadash poll broadcast on Channel 10 Wednesday found that Barak's approval rating fell from 53% in June to just 41% now. Olmert's rating rose from 14% to 27%. Asked who should be prime minister, 33% said Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu, 24% Barak and just 10% said Olmert.


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