Polls: Netanyahu Remains Strong In Israel
New Israeli polls released on Monday show Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remaining strong in the face of accusations of corruption. The accusations were comprehensively dealt with by Israeli reporter and author Caroline Glick here, who dismissed them, noting, “Justice ministry officials reportedly believe that the police put them in an impossible situation. On the one hand, investigators exaggerated Netanyahu’s alleged misdeeds — and on the other hand, they didn’t provide the prosecutors with the evidence needed to sustain an indictment, let alone a conviction.”
Meanwhile, polls conducted by Hadashot news and Channel 10 showed Netanyahu’s ruling party, the Likud, winning 29-30 seats. It currently has 30.
What could collapse the coalition government is the controversy over a draft bill that would require ultra-Orthodox Jews to avoid serving in the mandatory military draft; Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman of Yisrael Beytenu, which strongly opposes the bill, said on Monday that his party will oppose it.
On Tuesday, Israel National News reported that Netanyahu and Liberman held a discussion in which Netanyahu conceded that Yisrael Beytenu MKs could vote against the bill; Israel National News also reported, “On Sunday, Netanyahu met with Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism), and ultimately succeeded in winning haredi backing for a compromise arrangement, under which the government would approve the draft bill in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation and bring the bill up in the Knesset plenum for the first of three readings. The bill would be brought up for its second and third readings during the Knesset’s summer session.”
The polls show Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid rising to hold 21-24 seats; it currently has 11. The Zionist Union falls to 11-13 seats; it currently has 24.
The Hdashot poll showing Likud winning 30 seats is the strongest showing for Likud since the 2015 elections.
The Joint (Arab) List is projected to win 12-13; the nationalist Jewish Home to win 11; it currently has 8. Left-wing Meretz would win 7-9 seats; it currently has 5. United Torah Judaism would maintain its current number of 6; Kulanu, led by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, would dive from 10 seats to 6.