Israelis Support Shamir’s Handling of Peace Talks, but Favor Compromise

While a majority of the Israeli public supports the Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir’s Likud bloc as the party best suited to negotiate peace with the Arabs, a majority of Israelis also support territorial compromise to reach that end, in contravention of Likud’s current policies.

The contradictory findings emerged from a Gallup Institute telephone poll of 513 Israeli Jewish adults taken last week and published Friday in the Israeli daily Hadashot.

The poll found that 44 percent of Israelis prefer a Likud government leading the peace negotiations. Eleven percent prefer a Labor government, and 37 percent prefer other governments.

Fifty-eight percent agree that Shamir is leading the peace negotiations well, while 21 percent do not believe so.

But contrary to these statistics, 54 percent of those polled agreed that there will not be peace without a return of territory; 33 percent disagreed with that statement.

Fifty-one percent agreed that now that peace negotiations are under way, the building of Jewish settlements in the administered territories should be frozen, while 40 percent disagreed.

The Shamir government has opposed calls for a settlement freeze, while the opposition Labor Party has backed it.

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