Daily Israel Report

Arutz-7 Poll: 90% Don´t Feel Sharon is Sincere

Arutz-7's current QuickPoll indicates that only some 10% of respondents feel that Ariel Sharon's political turnabout is due to a sincere shift in his ideological thinking.
First Publish: 12/17/2004, 2:08 PM / Last Update: 12/17/2004, 10:00 AM

Over the past two years, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has undergone a dramatic switch in his political thinking. His total negation of a unilateral withdrawal from Gaza as promoted by Labor Prime Ministerial candidate Amram Mitzna, has become a position of complete promotion of the almost-identical disengagement plan.

In addition, Sharon is arguably the most responsible for the spread of Jewish settlement throughout Judea, Samaria and Gaza over the past 30 years – yet last night, he told the Herzliya Conference that "most of the public is justifiably [emphasis added] not ready to sacrifice so much" for most of the settlement enterprise.

The results of the poll, as of this morning, show that less than 11% feel that Sharon is motivated by a "sincere ideological shift." Sharon has said in the past that "what one sees from there, he sees differently from here" – implying that as Prime Minister, there are different global and diplomatic considerations that guide him. MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) put the lie to this claim this morning, however, saying, "Even after he became Prime Minister, he said that Netzarim [a Jewish town in Gaza] is the same to him as Tel Aviv," while just a short time later, he is abruptly willing to abandon Netzarim.

About twice as many, just over a fifth of those who responded to the poll, feel that Mr. Sharon feels a need to be "in charge." Sharon has often been called a "bulldozer" in getting what he wants done.

Somewhat fewer - about 18% of the respondents - feel that the Prime Minister is motivated by the "fear of criminal investigation." MK Tzvi Hendel, a resident of Gush Katif, has long expressed this view. "This whole [disengagement] process was done for his personal and family benefit," Hendel told Arutz-7 last week, "in order to make sure that the police investigation[s] against him [regarding the Greek Island affair, the Cyril Kern loans, and campaign funding – ed.] would not lead to an indictment – after all, who would want to touch him when he's in the middle of such dramatic and important diplomatic moves? From the moment he made the decision to go in this direction, everything became kosher to him. No one can stop him; if the settlers dare to bother him – if thousands of them and their friends won't want to get on the trucks, or won’t want to load their dead onto the trucks, then he'll be capable of giving [the] order [to fire on them]..."

The choice that received the most votes, however, is the age-old "international pressure" option. More than a third of those who responded to the poll so far feel that Sharon has caved in to American and European pressure.

About 15% of the respondents were not happy with any of the choices, and chose "other" instead – leading to much speculation as to how they view the Prime Minister's actions.

Arutz-7 invites readers to take part in the poll.