IDF Wants You - to Say if Chief of Staff Grants Enough Interviews

Army commissions telephone poll to determine public stance on Ashkenazi's famously scarce media appearances.

The Israel Defense Forces commissioned a telephone poll last week in which people were asked whether Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi should make more media appearances.

The survey, conducted by the Shiluv Research Group, included questions from other clients on issues such as the problems facing Channel 10, the conflict between documentary filmmaker Miki Rozental and the Ofer brothers, and air-conditioner sales.

The veracity and accuracy of the survey, whose cost to the IDF has been estimated at NIS 5,000, are unclear, as it was conducted on a single evening with a target group of 500 Israelis between the ages of 18 and 49 who use landline phones. According to one veteran pollster, only one out of eight to 10 people contacted for such survey usually agree to participate. The fact that the poll was conducted on the eve of the Tisha B'av fast may also have affected the results.

Ashkenazi's media appearances have been notably scarce, even in connection to important events such as Operation Cast Lead.

The IDF confirmed that it occasionally commissions polls from private firms, and said it had not yet received the result of the last survey.

Shiluv declined to comment on the survey results or even confirm the poll itself.