July 20, 2006 – Two recent Israeli polls have shown that an overwhelming 81 percent of Israelis support the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) military campaign to crush the Islamist terrorist group, Hezbollah, in southern Lebanon, while a majority of Israelis (including Israeli Arabs) — 52 percent to 19 percent — oppose the Olmert government plan to carry out further unilateral withdrawals in Judea and Samaria. The overwhelming finding supporting the Israeli strike into Lebanon came from a poll by the Dahaf Institute conducted by Dr. Mina Tzemach for Yediot Ahronot, Israels biggest-selling newspaper (Yediot Ahronot , July 18). The finding of Israeli majority opposition to the Olmert unilateral withdrawal plan comes from a telephone poll conducted last week by the Maagar Mohot Survey Institute (Jerusalem Newswire, July 16).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, It is readily apparent from these polls that Israelis support continuing military efforts in Lebanon until Hezbollah is completely disarmed and loses the ability to threaten Israel again. For six years following Israels unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon, Hezbollah has been permitted to strengthen and entrench itself in southern Lebanon. Lebanon has not fulfilled the terms of UN Security Council Resolution 1559 which among other things calls for the disarmament of all military forces in Lebanon which are not part of the regular Lebanese army.
These two polls illustrate very clearly that the Israeli public is now alive to the dangers of terrorist movements attacking Israel from territory from which Israel unilaterally retreats and now supports strong measures against the terrorists. Clearly, retreating unilaterally from southern Lebanon in 2000 and from Gaza in 2005 has only emboldened Israels enemies who in both cases simply took over the territory Israel evacuated and commenced assaulting Israel from these new positions, as we are witnessing these past few days.