Most Israelis want Olmert ousted as PM

Poll: 55 percent say Olmert should be forced to resign due to investigations against him.

Olmert concerned 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Olmert concerned 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
A majority of Israelis believe that the Knesset should suspend or topple Prime Minister Ehud Olmert due to the criminal investigations against him, according to a recent poll conducted by Ma'agar Mohot. The poll was sponsored by the Israel Policy Center for Promoting Parliamentary Democracy and Jewish Values in Israeli Public Life. The Jerusalem-based center is headed by Prof. Yitzhak Klein, who also advises the Knesset Law Committee. In the poll of more than 1,000 people representing a sample of the Israeli adult population, some 55 percent of respondents said the Knesset should remove Olmert because of the investigations. Israelis were divided on the question on mostly political lines, with Likud supporters overwhelmingly in favor and Kadima and Labor backers against. Among recent immigrants, 78% were in favor of removing Olmert and only 22% were opposed. A majority (53%) agreed with the statement that the main reason Olmert was seeking an agreement with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was because he was worried about his personal and political future, and not about Israel's national interest. Some 57% of Kadima and Labor supporters disagreed with the statement. The poll's numbers regarding support for concessions to the Palestinians were bad news for Olmert as well. Some 65% of respondents said that due to the lessons of 2005's disengagement from the Gaza Strip, they opposed a large withdrawal in the West Bank. Some 61% said they opposed removing IDF soldiers from most of the West Bank and giving control over the territory to the Palestinians. If Israel did withdraw, some 55% believe the territory would be used to fire rockets at Israelis and 65% believe there is a high or very high chance that Hamas would take control of the area. Some 77% said Abbas lacked the power to prevent attacks from the West Bank.