Israel’s Knesset Channel (the equivalent of C-Span) published a poll showing an increase in the political power of the Jewish Home party for a second week in a row, to 15 seats. The poll, conducted after the Minister Naftali Bennett’s “backside shrapnel” speech against a Palestinian state, proves that his clearly stated position not only did not hurt his party, but actually made it stronger.
The data indicate a corresponding decrease in the power of Likud-Beiteinu and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party.
According to the survey results, Likud-Beiteinu gets 25 seats—down from 31, Labor goes up to 20—from 15, Yesh Atid with 17 seats—down from 19, Shas with 9 seats—down from 11, Meretz with 9 seats—up from 6, and United Torah Judaism with the same 6 seats as before.
The survey participants were asked to score their level of satisfaction with Finance Minister Yair Lapid: 37% of them answered “lousy,” 31% answered “average,” 24% said “good,” and 8% did not have an opinion.
Considering the man has just cut child subsidies across the board and raised the country’s VAT from 18 to 19 percent – that’s not so bad.
In the more complex portion of the survey, respondents were asked: “A month ago, a group of business executives met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and expressed concern about the potentially negative effects on the country’s economy resulting from a continued political deadlock with the Palestinians. What do you think motivates the position of these CEOs – a genuine concern to the economy or their personal political position?”
A full 51% said that those captains of industry who are driven by “their political position,” and only 27% said they had “a real concern for the economy.” Also, 17% did not know what the subject in discussion was, and 5% said that they have no position on the matter.
In other words, a staggering 73% of Israelis would not mind at all if the stalemate over a Palestinian state would remain in place forever.
Score a big one to Naftali Bennett’s backside shrapnel.
The survey asked Yesh Atid voters about their level of satisfaction with their party and whether or not they were regretting their vote. The largest group—40%—said it was too early to tell, 31% said they regret voting for Lapid, and 29% said they do not regret it.
Based on this poll, and based on what one hears in everyday conversations with Israelis, it appears that pushing his 2-state solution would be an excellent way for Prime Minister Netanyahu to get himself a 2-seat election. Except that both his rank and file and the members of the Likud-Beiteinu Knesset delegation are not going to maintain their support for their leader’s seemingly suicidal position. On Sunday, MK Miri Regev announced that she would be running for the position of Party Chairman against Netanyahu – a feat attempted so far only by now MK Moshe Feiglin.