More than three in four Israelis do not believe President Bush’s visit will bring progress toward peace, a poll found.
A day into Bush’s first presidential visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Yediot Achronot published a survey Thursday suggesting low public optimism over his peacemaking mission.
Seventy-seven percent of Israelis do not believe Bush will bring diplomatic progress, as compared to 21 percent who do, the poll found. Two percent of respondents had no comment.
Most Israelis also were not persuaded by media theories that Bush’s visit is designed to shore up Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s domestic standing ahead of the publication of a commission of inquiry’s final report on the failings of the Second Lebanon War.
Fifty-nine percent of respondents said the visit would have no effect on Olmert’s prospects, 38 percent said it would bolster the Israeli leader and 3 percent said it would weaken him.
The poll had 500 respondents and a 4.5 percent margin of error.