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Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Haaretz poll: Netanyahu approval rating leaps after policy speech

Did you watch the Prime Minister's speech last night?
Yes 53% No 47%

If yes - do you agree with what he said?
Yes 71% No 20% Other replies 9%

Will his speech help to improve the State of Israel's diplomatic and
international standing?
Yes 52% No 34% Other 14%

Netanyahu declared in his speech that he agrees to a demilitarized
Palestinian state. Why do you think he did this?
55% Surrendered to American pressure
05% True ideological change
33% Thinks the speech serves the interests of the State of Israel
07% Other

Netanyahu declared his intention to go for peace with the Palestinians. Do
you think that what he said was:
14% Did not go far enough towards the Palestinians
55% Exactly correct
19% Too much
12% Other

Do you think Netanyahu's speech will help advance the peace process with the
Yes 23% No 67% Other 10%

Do you think that a demilitarized Palestinian state will be established in
the coming years?
Yes 20% No 70% Other 10%

Should the Kadima Party join the Netanyahu Government in the wake of the
Yes 41% No 39% Other 20%
Kadima voters: Yes 49% No 37%

Haaretz poll: Netanyahu approval rating leaps after policy speech
By Yossi Verter Haaretz Last update - 01:12 16/06/2009

U.S. President Barack Obama has reservations, the Arabs are protesting and
the Europeans are doubtful, but for the Israeli public, Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu's speech on Sunday evening was a big success. Right and
left, Kadima and Likud, new immigrants and old-timers all found something
they liked in the address at Bar-Ilan University.

For example, in only a month, Netanyahu's approval rating has jumped 16
percentage points from a low of 28 percent the day after the cabinet debate
over the budget on May 14. The 44 percent achieved yesterday comes a day
after the speech.

Public support for Netanyahu's speech is sky-high, even though Israelis do
not have illusions about the prime minister's motives, which they generally
attribute to American pressure. But it turns out that Israelis prefer a
prime minister who does the right thing even if he does it for the wrong

And most of the public thinks the right thing is the combination found in
Netanyahu's address: right-wing rhetoric mixed with the desire for peace, an
undivided Jerusalem, opposition to the return of Palestinian refugees, a
demand for defensible borders, and the words that made the big headline - a
demilitarized Palestinian state.

Netanyahu hit a bull's-eye in the Israeli public consensus with his speech.
This is reflected in the results of a Haaretz-Dialog survey conducted
yesterday under the auspices of Prof. Camil Fuchs of Tel Aviv University.
The numbers show that when Netanyahu deals with leadership on defense and
policy matters without scare tactics, the public supports him.

But when he is judged on his actions, such as after the budget debacle, the
public is not supportive. The conclusion: Netanyahu needs to operate less
and lead more. Another conclusion is that maybe he should speak to the
public more often, on condition that he says what the public wants to hear.

The Israeli public overwhelmingly supports Netanyahu's speech - 71 percent.
According to the poll, the prime minister said the right things and the
television event Sunday night will help Israel in the international arena.

However, these positive views do not blind Israelis; they do not believe
there will be any real change in the region as a result of the speech. A
large majority of Israelis surveyed say the peace process will not see any
breakthrough in the wake of the address, and an even larger majority says a
demilitarized Palestinian state will not be established in the next few
years, as Netanyahu himself now supports.

Netanyahu built a broad consensus in his speech, the survey shows. He will
use this support to maneuver his policies with the Americans.

In terms of internal Israeli politics, Netanyahu put himself in the center
of the political map. Most Kadima voters, 49 percent, say Tzipi Livni should
join the coalition as a result of the speech, while 37 percent of Kadima
voters disagreed.

Likud and Labor voters also now broadly support Kadima joining Netanyahu's
government, even though his coalition seems more stable than ever.

Another political achievement is how Netanyahu managed to keep onside his
own political base, Likud, even as he added supporters from other parties,
mostly Labor and Kadima.

The survey shows that 90 percent of Likud voters, an incredible figure,
agreed with what Netanyahu said in his speech. Maybe they are aware that a
Palestinian state will not emerge as a result, so they are not worried. In
addition, 73 percent of Likud voters say Netanyahu said the right things.

The public liked the speech not just because it was based on the Israeli
consensus, but also because of its tone: moderate with

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