Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (R), Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, and IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz meet in Tel Aviv..
(photo credit: ARIEL HERMONI / DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Public opinion in Israel is solidly against ending Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip, according to a poll released Sunday.
The poll was conducted by pollster Mina Tzemach among 504 respondents, a representative sample of the Jewish Israeli adult population. It was sponsored by strategist Roni Rimon, who once worked with Likud and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, but who insisted he took it at his own initiative.
When asking about a potential cease-fire, the poll gave two choices. The first endorsed a ceasefire because “Israel had enough achievements, soldiers have died, and it is time to stop.” The second said Israel cannot accept a cease-fire because “Hamas continues firing missiles on Israel, not all the tunnels have been found, and Hamas has not surrendered.”
Only 9.7 percent chose option one, 86.5% option two, and 3.8% said they did not know. Men were more likely to want the operation to continue than women.
Asked how they would rate the operation if a cease-fire happened Sunday, 2.2% said a big success, 22.6% a good result, and 47.6% a so-so result. Asked about Hamas’s gain if that should happen, 14.9% said it would be a good result for Hamas, 8.7% said a great success for Hamas, and 4% did not know.
Rimon said that when those who considered the operation’s results so-so are combined with those who believe the result of the operation was good or a great success for Hamas, more than 71% are disappointed with the operation so far.
“Israelis want victory,” Rimon said. “The public has a bitter taste in its mouth from the results of the war so far.”
Rimon cautioned Netanyahu that if he agreed to a cease-fire, he would be confronting the overwhelming majority of the nation.
“All the compliments Netanyahu has received for running the operation, his restraint, thinking things through, and obtaining international support will be lost and will be replaced with criticism,” Rimon said. “But this is the test of a leader. If he believes that the greater good of Israel requires a cease-fire because of relations with the United States and the international community, he will put ratings aside and do what he thinks is right. We shall wait and see.”