Poll: 54% Of Israelis Would Have Favored Continuing Gaza Operation
February 26, 2009



A new poll has shown that a majority of Israelis – 54 percent – would have favored continuing with Israel’s December-January military operations against Hamas in Gaza. The operations ended in a ceasefire that has seen Hamas survive as the controlling authority in Gaza and its missiles continue to strike southern Israeli towns. The poll, conducted for the War and Peace Index by Prof. Ephraim Yaar for the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research, also found that only a third of Israelis – 33 percent – were satisfied with the results of the military campaign (‘Poll: Public in favor of unity government,’ Yediot Ahronot, February 22, 2009).


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “This poll shows that the ZOA was far from being alone in asserting at the time of the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1860 that an important opportunity to improve Israel’s security predicament and re-establish a firmer deterrent posture had been lost. We also argued during the hostilities that not only was Israel well within its rights to seek to end Hamas’ murderous attacks, but that Israel’s legitimate goal should be the defeat of Hamas and the containment of its threat to an expanding portion of southern Israel, which would require at least two things: retaking the Philadelphi Corridor along the Gaza-Egyptian border and removing Hamas from northern Gaza.


“Reasserting control of Gaza’s southern border with Egypt – the relinquishment of which was much criticized by Maj.-Gen. Dror Almog, former head of the Israel Defense Forces Southern Command – would permit Israel to drastically curtail the smuggling of offensive weaponry into Gaza. Reasserting control over northern parts of Gaza, from which the missile barrages are launched against Israeli cities, towns and farms, would help end the state of paralysis, insecurity and fear that grips southern Israel. Both these moves were recommended more than a year and a half ago by Col. (ret.) Moti Yogev, former Gaza Division commander, and for almost two years by Yuval Diskin, director of Israel’s Shin Bet security service, as well as by former Defense Minister Moshe Arens and other senior defense establishment figures


“We believe – and we see that most Israelis seem to share our view – that the Gaza operations should have been designed to achieve long-term security for Israel vis-à-vis Gaza, which would have been attained by achieving these twin goals.”

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