Poll: Israel Didn't Win Gaza War, Netanyahu Still Best Choice for PM

Despite prime minister's claim of victory, more than half of Israelis believe neither side won conflict.

AP

More than half of Israelis said in a poll conducted Wednesday that neither Israel nor Hamas have emerged victorious from the fighting in Gaza, even as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel has secured a "great military and political" achievement and dealt Hamas a "heavy blow."

With 54 percent said in a Haaretz-Dialog poll there was no winner, about a quarter said Israel won and 16 percent said Hamas did.

The poll also found that half of Israelis expressed satisfaction with Netanyahyu's conduct during the Israel-Hamas fighting that ended with a cease-fire deal the day before – an improvement over his 40 percent satisfaction rate of July 7, the day before Israel launched Operation Protective Edge, but a significant drop over his performance early this month.

When Israelis were asked on August 5 what they thought of Netanyahu's performance during the war, 77 percent of respondents in the Haaretz-Dialog poll characterized his conduct as either "good" or "excellent."

The most recent Haaretz-Dialog poll, conducted Wednesday and supervised by Prof. Camil Fuchs of Tel Aviv University, also found that Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon had an approval rating of 55 percent and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman reached 29 percent, in both cases just two percentage points lower than their July 7 baseline ratings, within the margin of error of 4.64 percent.

Like Netanyahu's approval rating, Ya'alon's popularity soared to 77 percent in the August 5 poll, which had 464 respondents.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who spoke out often against Netanyahu's efforts at reaching a truce, hit 29 percent, just 2 percentage points below the July 7 baseline.

A plurality of respondents in Wednesday's poll said Netanyahu was the politician most suited to being prime minister. He got 42 percent of the votes, compared with 12 percent for Labor's Isaac Herzog, 11 percent each for Yisrael Beiteinu leader Lieberman and Habayit Hayehudi chairman Naftali Bennett and just 4 percent for Yesh Atid's Yair Lapid. The second most popular pick, after Netanyahu, was "don't know," at 20 percent.