Poll: Majority of Israelis supported Gaza operation

Peace Index poll finds a majority of Israelis want a return to peace talks, but even larger number doubts their chances of success.

Gaza on Fire 20 Nov 390 (photo credit: Mohammed Salem / Reuters)
Gaza on Fire 20 Nov 390
(photo credit: Mohammed Salem / Reuters)
The majority of Israelis believe that last month's IDF operation in Gaza was justified, according to a Peace Index poll released on Thursday.
The poll, conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, shows that an overwhelming majority of Israelis (79 percent) said the government's decision to launch the operation was justified, including 84% of Jewish Israelis and 47% of Israeli Arabs.
Support for Operation Pillar of Defense was not limited to one side of the political map, Israeli Jews from across the political spectrum supported the operation; 74% of people self-identifying with the Left, 86% of centrists and 89% of right-wing Israelis.
The majority of Jewish Israelis (57%) agreed with the government's decision to end the operation when it did, but a large minority of 41% opposed the decision.
Fifty-three percent of the Israeli Jews who supported the operation believe its goals were achieved, the survey showed. Thirty-seven percent of the public thought Israel's deterrence was strengthened, while 37% believe it remained unchanged.
Regarding the cease-fire that ended the operation, a majority (55%) of the Israeli public said they believe the quiet will last up to a year, with just under a third of the respondents saying they believe it will last only a few months.
Asked about the influence Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi had on ending the round of violence, two-thirds of Israelis said he had a positive impact.
Asked about peace rather than war, most Israelis believe the government should engage in peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, but an even larger number said they don't believe those negotiations will lead to peace.
The survey also gauged public support for various government bodies during the Gaza operation. Almost all (88%) of the Israeli public was satisfied with the IDF's performance in the conflict, and 82% expressed satisfaction with the performance of local, municipal authorities. The government, while still enjoying a majority of the public's support, only received satisfactory marks from 60% of the respondents.
The poll included a sample of 598 adult Israelis, including both Jews and Arabs, between November 28 and December 2. The survey has a margin of error of 4.5%, according to the pollsters.