Poll: Olmert boosted by Syria raid


Israel’s alleged airstrike in Syria has boosted the domestic popularity of Ehud Olmert.

According to Tuesday’s Yediot Achronot survey, 35 percent of Israelis rate their prime minister’s performance as “good” following the reported Sept. 6 strike against a strategic military target in northern Syria. Sixty-three percent called Olmert’s performance “not good,” while 2 percent had no response.

The pollster, Dahaf, noted that a similar survey two weeks ago found 25 percent supporting Olmert and 70 percent opposing the embattled prime minister.

Olmert has been at pains to shore up his popularity since last year’s Lebanon war, whose setbacks many Israelis blamed on government incompetence and media leaks.

Jerusalem has declined all comment on the Syria incident, which U.S. officials have speculated targeted a nuclear facility supplied by North Korea.

If this indeed was the case, 78 percent of Israelis polled by Dahaf said they supported the operation, 10 percent were opposed and 12 percent had no response.

Fifty-one percent of respondents said the incident had not affected the chances of Israel going to war with Syria, despite Damascus’s pledges to retaliate. Thirty-two percent saw an increased chance of war, 13 percent a decreased chance of war and 4 percent had no reponse.

The survey had 441 Jewish Israeli respondents and a 4 percent margin of error. Israeli Arabs, which comprise approximately 20 percent of the population, generally have been critical of the alleged attack on Syria.

Recommended from JTA