New Israeli Poll: Rightwing – 66 Seats, Leftwing – 40 Seats
August 29, 2006

63% – Olmert should resign
45%-24% Bibi over Olmert

New York – A new poll conducted by Maagar Mohot (‘The Brain Trust’), a respected Israeli pollster, shows that if new elections were held now, the current small left-wing majority in the Israeli Knesset would be dramatically overturned and replaced by a clear majority of 66 seats for right-wing parties opposed to unilateral concessions as against 40 seats for left-wing parties. The right-wing majority of 66 seats would consist of Likud (20 seats), Yisrael Beiteinu (15 seats), Shas (13 seats), National Union — National Religious Party (12 seats) and Yahadut Hatorah (6 seats). The left-wing minority of 40 seats would consist of Kadima (23 seats), Labor (12 seats), Meretz (5 seats). Even in alliance with anti-Zionist Arab parties (10 seats), the left-wing total would rise to only 50 seats (Makor Rishon, August 25).

Complementing these poll results, another poll conducted by Yediot Ahronot, Israel’s largest circulation newspaper, shows that 63% of Israelis feel that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert should resign. Only 29% support Olmert remaining as Prime Minister. The public is even more strongly opposed to Labor leader Amir Peretz remaining Defense Minister: 74% believe he should resign and only 20% think he should remain in his post. The poll also showed that if the choice of who should be Prime Minister was between Ehud Olmert and Binyamin Netanyahu, Netanyahu would be preferred by 45% of the electorate as opposed to only 24% for Olmert. If the prime ministerial contest was widened to include Yisrael Beiteinu’s Avigdor Lieberman and Labor’s Shimon Peres, Netanyahu would receive 22% support, Lieberman 18%, and Olmert and Peres would receive only 12% each (Yediot Ahronot, August 25)

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said , “These poll results are not surprising in light of the dramatic increase in the number of Israelis who oppose the forced uprooting of 70,000 Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria as part of a unilateral concession to the Hamas/Palestinian Authority. Recent polls show that approximately 64% to 74% of Israelis oppose any further withdrawals in Judea and Samaria and the giving away of 92% of Judea and Samaria. The public realizes more clearly than ever that the continuing terrorism and violence of the Palestinians has nothing to do with land and questions of Palestinian statehood but with Israel’s destruction. The left-wing, which still insists on giving away more land to the Palestinians, would only further endanger Israel by bringing Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups closer to Israel’s major population centers. Unsurprisingly, the overwhelming majority of Israelis oppose these proposals and the polls reflect that skepticism.”

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