The fact that President Shimon Peres’s star-studded 90th birthday party was
funded by private contributions and not by Israeli taxpayers does not justify
the lavishness of the event, a majority of Israelis said in a Panels poll taken
by Sof Hashavua, the Hebrew language sister publication of The Jerusalem
Fifty-six percent of respondents said the source of the funding did
not improve their impression of the event, while 35% said it did, and nine
percent did not know. The percentage that was disturbed by the event was highest
among Israelis defining themselves as left wing. Among them, 68% said the
private funding did not justify the extent of the party and 26% said it
The numbers were not much different among right-wingers, among whom
60% said the donations did not justify the extravagance and 31% said it did.
Peres fared best among self-proclaimed centrists, with 45% saying the fact that
taxpayers did not fund the event made it better and 50% said it did
When asked a more general question about impressions of the birthday
party, 44% of respondents said it was fitting for a man of Peres’s stature and
44% said it was exaggerated and tasteless. Ten percent had no opinion and two
percent said Peres deserved even better.
Asked if they thought the event
improved Israel’s image internationally, 57% answered yes, 37% said no, and six
percent had no opinion.
Regarding Peres’s performance as president, he
scored very well with 77% saying they were satisfied, only 16% unsatisfied and
seven percent saying they had no opinion.
The poll was taken Wednesday
and had a 4.3% margin of error.
A different survey, taken by Gal Hadash
for Israel Hayom, found that 51.1% considered the Peres party exaggerated, 40.4%
said it was fitting and 8.5% had no opinion.
In that poll, 77.5% had a
favorable view of the president, 17.4% unfavorable, and 5.1% had no
Taken Wednesday, it had a 4.4% margin of error.