Begin’s Popularity Rating Soars

Premier Menachem Begin’s popularity rating among Israelis has risen since the Camp David agreements, according to a public opinion poll released yesterday. It showed that 78 percent of the 500 persons questioned by the Dahaf Poll replied that they were satisfied with Begin as Israel’s Premier. Only 10.4 percent replied negatively to the same question and 11.2 percent said they did not know. Prior to the Camp David summit, only 62 percent had replied in the affirmative to the same question, while last April only 50.4 percent said they were satisfied with Begin’s performance.

Israelis are also apparently more satisfied with Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan and Defense Minister Ezer Weizman as a result of the summit. Weizman’s popularity rating rose from 73 percent on the eve of the talks to 82.2 percent, and Dayan’s increased from 50.6 percent to 72.2 percent.

Begin’s popularity seems to have risen on an international scale as well. The Premier’s Office said it has received hundreds of congratulatory cables since the summit’s conclusion from such renowned personalities as pianist Artur Rubinstein and French diplomat Jacques Soustelle.

Employes of the Office noted that many Arab names were conspicuous among the hundreds of cables as well as churches, heads of state and foreign ministers, editors of worldwide publications and both Jewish and non-Jewish societies and organizations. Meanwhile, a three-fold public reception is being planned for the Premier when he returns to Israel tomorrow. Thousands are expected to assemble at Ben Gurion Airport, on the road to Jerusalem and in the capital itself.

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