New poll: 60 percent of Israelis support establishment of Palestinian state
About 60 percent of Israelis support a Palestinian state and strongly favor the current Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, over his leading rival, Benjamin Netanyahu, as Israel's leader, according to an opinion poll released Tuesday.
The Dahaf Institute poll was conducted Monday, hours after Sharon, who heads the hardline Likud party, suffered a humiliating blow at his party's central committee meeting. Likud delegates voted overwhelmingly to oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state, now and in the future.
The poll, published in the Yediot Ahronot daily, showed the defeat may not have hurt Sharon, with 63 percent supporting his position that a Palestinian state should be created in the framework of a future peace accord.
The poll found that 55 percent of all Israelis and 54 percent of Likud voters want Sharon to be the right-wing party's candidate for prime minister, while 23 percent of Israelis and 35 percent of Likud voters support Netanyahu, the former premier.
The poll surveyed 501 Israelis and had a margin of error of 4.5 percent.
For his part, Netanyahu dismissed the latest poll. "The public simply is not aware of the danger of such a state," he told Israel Radio on Tuesday. "If someone who fights against this danger and against making terrible historic mistakes that will cost us a great deal in the future is defined as a politician, then I will wear this tag proudly." (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)