Vast Majority of Israelis Approve of Operation, Poll Shows
A poll conducted on behalf of an Israeli political education group showed that the vast majority of Israelis supported Operation Pillar of Defense. According to the poll, taken by the Panels organization on behalf of the the Israeli Center for Political Training (ICPT), 85% of Israelis think that the operation against Hamas is a good idea, and expect that it will end with a positive result for Israel.
Nearly half of Israelis are in favor of continuing the campaign, even if it leads to a ground operation. Currently, 26% of Israelis prefer to see a cease-fire put into place as soon as possible.
Interestingly, 26% of those polled said that the government had embarked on the campaign as part of its re-election efforts. However, 68% said that the reason was because of the need to stop the ongoing rocket terror attacks on Israel. About half of those polled in the representative sample of 503 respondents said that they were willing to postpone the upcoming elections because of the operation, if necessary.
The majority of those polled are satisfied with the performance of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak in the operation so far. With that, the political component of the poll showed that Barak has failed to turn the support from Israelis into votes, with his Atzma'ut faction failing to garner the minimum number of votes it would need to get into the Knesset.
According to the poll, if elections were held today the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu joint list would receive 38 Knesset seats, with Labor getting 22 and Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party receiving 13.
The joint Bayit Yehudi/National Union list would receive 11 seats if elections were held today, the poll said, with Shas receiving 9 and United Torah Jewry and Meretz getting 5. And in one of the surprise entries, the Am Shalem (Full Nation) party, led by former Shas MK Chaim Amsalem, would get four seats.