Most of the Public Thinks Annapolis Summit Was a Failure

The lavishly produced Annapolis summit, the bombastic speeches, the impressive participation by Arab states and the deadline set for the final status agreement - the end of 2008 - left no impression on most Israelis.

Only 17 percent of the public believe the conference was a "success," while most - 42 percent - called it a "failure," according to a Haaretz-Dialog survey. The poll was conducted yesterday, a day after the Annapolis conference, among a representative sample of 497 people.

A quarter of the public believes the conference was "neither a failure nor a success." This is surprising, considering that on the summit's eve, polls showed an overwhelming majority of the Israeli public supported it.

Only among Kadima voters did a majority (43 percent) call the conference a "success," compared to 25 percent who deemed it a failure. Voters for the other parties, left and right, were much more reserved. Only 3 percent of the Arab parties' voters, for example, called the conference a success, compared to 66 percent who called it a failure.

However, most of the public wishes to end the conflict with the Palestinians. Fifty-three percent support a two-state final status agreement and a solution to all the "core issues" - refugees, borders, settlements and Jerusalem. Thirty-eight percent object to such an agreement, preferring to continue wallowing in conflict.

The poll, supervised by Professor Camil Fuchs, of Tel Aviv University's Department of Statistics and Operations Research, finds a considerable rise in satisfaction with Ehud Olmert's performance as prime minister - 22 percent of the public said they were satisfied with him, a 7-percent rise compared to the previous poll a few weeks ago. Altogether satisfaction with Olmert has been rising slowly but steadily in recent months, while "dissatisfaction" with his performance is dwindling.

The poll also shows that Kadima, Labor, Meretz and Arab party voters, as well as people who said they back Arkadi Gaydamak's party, are the strongest supporters of the agreement.