Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Maariv Poll: 47% Say "Yes, But" to Obama, 36% say No

In the morning following Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech before a joint session of Congress, a poll published by the Israeli daily Maariv indicates that while Netanyahu enjoys considerable support among Israelis, the public is far more inclined than its prime minister to make concessions to the Palestinians.

The survey, published in the Maariv newspaper, found 10 per cent of Israelis thought Benjamin Netanyahu should have “declared his support for the president’s remarks with no reservations.”

Another 46.8 per cent said the Israeli leader should have expressed support “but with reservations,” while 36.7 per cent said Netanyahu should have declared his opposition to Obama’s principles for the peace process.

46.3% think that Netanyahu was right in his public criticism of Obama's 1967 proposal, while 47.5% think that he had to guard the criticism to closed private conversations with the administration.

The Maariv poll also found that if elections were held in Israel today, Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party would win, increasing its number of seats in the Knesset to 30, from the 27 it currently holds.

The opposition Kadima party would take 27 seats of the 120-seat legislature, down from its current 28, while the ultra-nationalist Israel Beitenu party led by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman would take 16 seats, compared with the 15 it currently holds.

Netanyahu also came out ahead of his political opponents on an individual basis, with 36.9 per cent of respondents saying he was best suited to be prime minister.

Respondents put Kadima head Tzipi Livni in second place with 28.3 per cent support, followed by Lieberman with 9.2 per cent and Defence Minister Ehud Barak with just 2.6 per cent.

The Prime ministers Approval rating is still stable, 42% are satisfied with Netanyahu's performance as prime minister, while 56% are unsatisfied.