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Majority of Israelis support dialogue with Hamas

A special survey carried out earlier this week on behalf of the Israeli daily Haaretz and Dialog, under the guidance of Professor Camil Fuchs of the Department of Statistics at Tel Aviv University revealed a significant shift to the right in Israeli public thinking and the almost total demise of the Labour Party and left in general in Israeli national politics.

On the wider issues of Middle East peace the survey showed that 57% of Israelis support the offer of former defense minister Shaul Mofaz to conduct talks with the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, despite its categorization as a 'terrorist' organization.

While 72% of the Kadima Party supported Mofaz's overture for talks with Hamas, 53% among the Likud welcomed the idea.  It is believed that Mofaz read the political map of Israel correctly and only made his 'crazy' offer after he was certain it would be supported by most Israelis.

On the level of political figures, the survey showed a dramatic decline in the popularity of the serving defense minister Ehud Barak even though not too long ago he enjoyed great popularity.  Since June his popularity ratings have dropped by 20%.

Sources: Maan and Haaretz

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