Most Israelis do not want a state commission of inquiry set up to probe the Carmel fire, but would rather the government focus on quickly implementing all the improvements recommended for the fire services in numerous previous reports, including the new State Comptroller's report that will be published Wednesday, a Haaretz-Dialog poll has found.
The poll, conducted Tuesday evening, found that 54 percent of respondents preferred to make do with the comptroller's report.
Other polls published earlier this week merely asked whether people support establishing a commission of inquiry, and a majority answered in the affirmative. But when the Haaretz-Dialog poll offered them a choice - a new commission or making do with the comptroller's report - a majority chose the latter.
This finding attests not only to the public's lack of enthusiasm for yet another commission of inquiry - which seem to sprout here after every major or minor disaster like mushrooms after rain - but also to its faith in Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss, whose report they have yet to read.
The poll also asked people's opinion of Interior Minister Eli Yishai's claim that the harsh criticism he has suffered since the fire was prompted not by his ministry's direct responsibility for the fire services, but by the fact that he is "Sephardi and ultra-Orthodox," as he said in an interview with Haaretz reporter Yair Ettinger. Fully 72 percent scorned this claim, while only about one-fifth of respondents bought it. Even among ultra-Orthodox respondents, only 48 percent agreed with this claim while 40 percent rejected it.
The survey, overseen by Prof. Camil Fuchs of Tel Aviv University, found that the public awarded high marks to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's conduct during the fire, but very low marks to his government's overall handling of the fire services since taking office. In contrast, a sweeping majority was dissatisfied with Yishai's conduct during the fire, and most respondents said he should resign.
The complete results will be published on Friday.
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