Almost three weeks after the beginning of Operation Cast Lead and less than a month before the Knesset elections, a Haaretz-Dialog poll shows widespread public support for the Gaza campaign. Less than 10 percent see the operation as a "failure."
The poll, supervised by Professor Camil Fuchs, head of Tel Aviv University's Statistics and Operations Research, shows that Likud and Kadima have weakened slightly and would get 29 and 25 Knesset seats respectively if the elections were held today. Labor is holding steady with 16 seats.
The right-wing bloc still commands more support than the center and left wing, effectively handing Likud chair MK Benjamin Netanyahu the next government. His coalition, however, would be complex, difficult to manage and possibly short-lived.
The Likud, right wing and ultra-Orthodox bloc consists of 62 Knesset seats, while the center and left wing hold 56. The Green Party, hovering on the edge of the minimum number of required votes, stands to receive two Knesset seats.
Shas has weakened slightly and Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu strengthened compared to previous polls. The right wing National Union-National Religious Party and Habayit Hayehudi, which split from it, bring together a total of six Knesset seats.
The poll indicates that a quarter of those interviewed (representing some 30 Knesset seats) have not decided, refuse to say or don't know how they would vote. The public is possibly waiting for the end of the war to see what arrangement that would be achieved to end it.
Despite pictures from Gaza depicting massive destruction and a large number of wounded and killed, including women and children, 82 percent of the public believe that Israel has not "gone too far" with the military force it is exercising against Hamas.
This means that almost all Israel's Jewish citizens warmly support the operation, its goals, firepower and management.
The poll was conducted among 561 people with an error margin of 4.3 percent for each question. The complete poll will be published in Friday's Haaretz.
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