Most Israelis want Bush re-elected

Israeli Jews overwhelmingly want President George Bush to beat his Democrat challenger John Kerry in the US presidential election on November 2, according to an opinion poll.

    Most of Israelis prefer Bush as US president

    A total of 49% of people questioned said they preferred Bush, with just 18% favouring Kerry to win, the poll published on Wednesday said.

    Seven per cent believed the two candidates were equally good for Israel, while 2% said they were equally bad for the Jewish state. The rest offered no opinion.

    At the same time, 42% of those questioned believed Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon should avoid supporting Bush, while 33%thought he should openly back the incumbent.

    Tel Aviv University carried out the poll, questioning a representative range of 577 adult Israelis. The poll had a margin of error of 4.5%.

    The poll confirmed that a clear majority of Israelis, Jewish and Arab, continue to back Sharon's plan to pull out of the Gaza Strip - with 60% for, and 34% against.

    The remainder expressed no opinion.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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