Israelis glum on Annapolis


As many as half of Israelis think the Annapolis peace summit was a failure.

A Yediot Achronot survey published Thursday found that 50 percent of Israelis consider Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s efforts to jump-start peace talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas under U.S. auspices this week a “failure.” Eighteen percent called the conference in the Maryland capital a success.

A poll in Ha’aretz had similar figures for opinions on whether Annapolis failed or succeeded – 42 percent vs. 17 percent.

Eighty-three percent of the Yediot respondents said they did not believe there would be an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord by the end of 2008, the deadline set by Olmert and Abbas. Sixteen percent said they thought a deal could be clinched in time.

Asked in the Yediot poll whether Israel should talk peace with Syria, 62 percent of respondents said yes and 35 percent said no. But the survey found that 69 percent of Israelis did not want to return the Golan Heights to Syria in exchange for a peace accord – a bedrock demand by Damascus – while 28 percent would agree to such a handover.

The Yediot poll had 503 respondents and a 4.5 percent margin of error. Haaretz said its poll had 497 respondents but did not provide the margin of error.


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