Palestinian Flag 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Three quarters of Likud members believe that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
should wait until the fate of uprisings in the Muslim world becomes clearer
before he takes any steps toward the Palestinians, a Ma’agar Mohot poll
sponsored by the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza
Strip revealed on Thursday.
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The poll of 821 Likud members representing a
relatively large statistical sample of the membership had a 4 percentage point
margin of error and was conducted in mid-March. But the council did not release
the numbers until now, because they would have been overshadowed by other news
While the poll found that Likud members had moved sharply
to the Right on key issues, its initiators issued a caveat that they included in
the sample some 10,000 right-wing members who have joined in the past several
months and do not have the 16-month membership minimum required to be able to
vote for the party’s chairman and Knesset members.
The poll found that
78% of the members oppose the creation of a Palestinian state, 92% favor
restarting construction in settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria, and 95% oppose
Reflecting anger at Netanyahu, 53% said he gave too
much weight to Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s opinions and 57% said Netanyahu was
not implementing the promises he made when he ran for prime minister.
poll indicated that respondents were ready to translate their beliefs into
action. Two-thirds said they would not support ministers who backed transferring
land to the Palestinians or forming a Palestinian state, while 41% said they
would consider voting for Israel Beiteinu instead of Likud in the next election
if Netanyahu followed up on his Bar-Ilan speech by announcing land transfers to
the Palestinian Authority or creating a Palestinian state in temporary
In a sign that Likud members had not crossed a rubicon to the
extreme Right, only 24% said they were in favor of annexing the entire West
Bank, while 76% said they would oppose such a move. Asked what party leader best
represented their views, 65% of the Likud members said Netanyahu and 35% said
When asked if they were satisfied with Netanyahu’s performance
as prime minister on socioeconomic issues, 57% said yes. On diplomatic issues,
51% answered affirmatively.
“Bibi has no backing in the Likud for taking
diplomatic steps toward the creation of a Palestinian state,” a senior Likud
minister said in response to the poll. “If that’s what he wants to do, he at
best can form a second Kadima.”