63% of Israelis want Olmert to quit

Friday, August 25, 2006

Almost two-thirds of Israelis want Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign, according to a public opinion poll published on Friday. The survey suggests there has been a major shift in Israeli public opinion in the wake of Israel's 34-day war in Lebanon that appeared to achieve few of Israel's military objectives. The poll published by Yedioth Aronoth, Israel's bestselling paper, also shows that 45% of Israelis would vote for Benjamin Netanyahu of the right wing Likud in an election where only he and Olmert were candidates.

A second poll published in Maariv gives Olmert 14% support compared to 26% for Nethanyahu and that Olmert's centrist Kadima party would win only 14 seats in the Knesset compared to 28 for Likud and 28 for ultranationalist Avigdor Lieberman's Israel Beiteinu party. The centre-left Labor Party, which is currently in a coalition with Kadima, would win only 9 seats according to the survey. 74% of respondents want Labour leader Amir Peretz to quit his post as defense minister.

The Maariv poll showed 73 percent of Israelis opposed future unilateral withdrawals.