A recent poll has shown that Israelis, by a margin of two to one, support a new Cast Lead campaign to deal with continuing terrorist attacks, including missile assaults, upon Israel from Hamas-controlled Gaza. Cast Lead was the name given to Israels military operations in Gaza during December 2008-January 2009, in which hundreds of Hamas personnel were killed and, following which, Israel enjoyed many months of relative calm on the Israeli-Gaza border. The poll, carried out by New Wave for Yisrael Hayom on April 11, 2011, found that, in light of the recent, increased tension with and violence from Gaza, 60.0 % of Israelis believe the government should initiate another Cast Lead-like operation against Hamas, whereas only 29.6% believed it should not.
These figures represent a marked increase in the proportion of Israelis favoring renewed military action against Gaza from that indicated by a similar poll on March 29, a mere two weeks earlier, which showed that, at that time, 50.8% of Israelis favored renewed military action, while 38.8% did not (New Wave Poll: Have new Cast Lead campaign 60%:29.6% (was 50.8%:38.8% 2 weeks Ago), Independent Media Review & Analysis, April 15, 2011).
Earlier polls have also shown that Israelis regret withdrawing Israeli forces and civilians from Gaza and favoring various military measures designed to prevent further aggression against Israel from that territory:
· July 2010: A Geocartography telephone poll broadcast on Israel Television Channel 1 on 27 July 2010 found that 54% percent of Israeli Jews believe the 2005 unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Gaza was a mistake, while only 25% still believed it was the right thing to do. Only 21% of Israeli Jews would now support a further unilateral withdrawal, whereas a majority of 61% would not. A majority of 55% of Israeli Jews also believe that the 2005 Gaza withdrawal weakened Israeli deterrence, while only 8% believe that it strengthened it. (Poll: Israeli Jews oppose additional unilateral withdrawal 62%:21%, Independent Media Review Analysis, July 27, 2010).
· June 2010: A New Wave Research poll on June 9, 2010 commissioned by Yisrael Hayom, found that an overwhelming percentage of Israeli Jews 92% believed that Israel acted correctly to stop the Gaza flotilla seeking to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza, as against a mere 5% who did not. The poll also found that Israeli Jews believe by a margin of 91% to 5% that Israel should intercept any future such flotillas. It also found that Israeli Jews oppose by 73% to 16% the lifting of the Gaza blockade (Poll: 73%:16% Continue blockade on Gaza, Independent Media Review Analysis, June 10, 2010).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, We see clearly in this most recent poll and the others cited that Israelis expect their government to take substantive and sustained measures, including military measures, to prevent further terrorism and danger emanating from Gaza.
Israelis realize that the 2005 unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, as ZOA anticipated at the time, would only lead to a boost for the Gaza-based terrorist groups, including Hamas, which now runs Gaza and whose Charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews. Israelis expect the government to be proactive rather than merely reactive in dealing with mounting threats. It expects the government to use military force to subdue Hamas and to use all necessary forceful measures to ensure arms and offensive weaponry do not reach Gaza.