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Poll Finds Opposition to Withdrawals, and More

Some 60% of Israeli Jews say the uprooting of Jews from Gush Katif and Shomron was an error - but 18% still support a similar move in Yesha.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 7/29/2007, 4:39 PM

Some 60% of Jews in Israel feel that the uprooting of Jews from Gush Katif and northern Shomron was an error - while only 18% support a similar move in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

A poll carried out by Teleseker for Maariv newspaper on Thursday found that 59% feel the "Disengagement, in the way it was carried out, was a mistake." Half that number, or 29%, said it was a correct move.  Just over half the population feels that the withdrawal from Gaza worsened Israel's security situation, while only 12% said it improved Israel's security.  30% felt there was no difference.

Asked if they favor a unilateral evacuation of communities in Judea and Samaria, a landslide majority, 74% said no, while 18% answered yes.

In other poll findings, the Keevoon (Trend, Direction) Research Institute, in a phone survey it carried out this month, finds that 64% of Jewish Israelis support releasing terrorist murderer Marwan Barghouti from Israeli prison in exchange for captive soldier Gilad Shalit.  32% oppose such a deal. Among women, the rate was 72% in favor - implying that among men, the rate was roughly 56% in favor, 28% against.

Fatah Tanzim terrorist leader Marwan Barghouti, charged with involvement in the murder of 38 Israelis, has been in prison since April 2002 and is serving several life sentences.  He was found guilty of three terror attacks involving the deaths of five Israelis, planning a fourth attack, and of membership in a terrorist organization. The Tel Aviv District court acquitted him of involvement in the murder of 33 other Israelis, stating the evidence against him in those cases was lacking. The prosecution came under criticism for not succeeding in proving Barghouti's involvement in these incidents.

Keevoon also found the following over the past several weeks:

  • 66% of the Jewish populace supports electoral reform that would give Israel more of a Presidential system.
  • 76% of Jewish Israelis choose Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum over Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery, where the nation's founders are buried, for visiting VIPs. Every foreign leader who visits Israel is taken for an official visit and ceremony at Yad Vashem. 
  • 64% of Israelis support legislation that would guarantee a Jewish Prime Minister - including a 31% support rate in the Arab sector.