Majority Believes Israel Hurt and Pained' by Evacuation

A large majority of Israelis believe that Israel "has been hurt and pained" by the disengagement, show the findings of a Dialog-Haaretz poll conducted under the supervision of Prof. Camil Fuchs over the past two days. Some 61 percent of the poll's respondents defined the country as such in the wake of the pullout from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank.

Only 23.5 percent described post-evacuation Israel as "a normal, civilized state."

The findings indicate that the evacuated settlers won the public's sympathy, and their complaints are being heard.

The survey also examined the public's attitude toward politicians who could replace Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Its findings show that Israel is in the throes of a leadership crisis. None of the following - former prime ministers Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, as well as Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz - are seen as worthy to replace Sharon. None of the four received more than 20 percent of the public's support - Peres won the support of 18.7 percent of the respondents; Netanyahu - 17.3 percent; Mofaz - 9.3 percent; and Barak - 6.7 percent.

Avigdor Lieberman, who heads Yisrael Beteinu, came in fifth, with 5.2 percent, although his name was not mentioned by the pollsters.

Among Labor's voters, 43.7 percent support Peres - four times as many as those who support Barak (10 percent).

Among Likud voters, Netanyahu, Sharon's main rival, wins the support of 34 percent of the respondents, while Mofaz, Sharon's ally, wins half of that - 17.6 percent.