It was perhaps a reflection of the effect of the Netanyahu government’s “Supermarkets Law” on Israeli voters, that their response to this week’s Ma’ariv poll on their choice for prime minister was to favor Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid—known for his anti-Haredi stance, giving him 27 Knesset seats (up from 11 today), over the sitting prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s 22 seats (down from 30).
Although the new law will probably have no effect at all on whether or not local municipalities keep their markets open on Shabbat, despite the newly imposed restrictions, secular Israelis saw it as an affront to their personal freedom and a needless interference from the Haredi parties. Never mind that the Haredim argued until they went blue in the face that the new law in fact corrected the existing damage to the historic status quo between religious and secular in Israel.
The poll, conducted for Ma’ariv’s weekend edition by Menachem Lazar’s Panels Politics, also found that the Zionist Camp, headed by Avi Gabai, comes in a disappointing third, 14 seats (down from 24); followed by Habayit Hayehudi with 13 (up from 8); the Joint Arab List down to 11 (from 13); Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu 9 (down from 10); United Torah Judaism 8 (up from 6); Meretz headed by Zahava Gal-On—who may or may not be elected to chair, 7 (up from 5); and Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu with 5, down from 6.
Shas, which initiated the Supermarket Law, is not benefiting from it for the time being, and is expected to win only 4 seats (down from 7) – barely passing the threshold, if that.
The poll also solicited respondents’ opinions about recent news events, which also did not bode well for Prime Minister Netanyahu:
Was it proper to broadcast the taped late-night, drunk and lascivious conversation of Yair Netanyahu and his two friends? To remind you, in that tape, the PM’s son confessed to frequenting strippers, reminded a billionaire’s son of how Netanyahu Sr. endowed his daddy with $20 billion in the natural gas deal, and offered the services of his girlfriend (there was much, much more).
An astonishing 44% said it was inappropriate to broadcast the tape; 40% said it was; 16% didn’t have an opinion.
But they were much more decisive on whether the state should pay for the PM’s children’s security, car and chauffeur: 62% said it shouldn’t; 24% said it should; 14% did not have an opinion.
What was the most problematic thing the Netanyahu Jr. recording exposed?
28 % said it was the fact that the boychik was entitled to a free car, security guard and chauffeur; 24% said it was his objectifying women; 16% thought it was the $20 billion thing about the gas deal; 10% said it was the visits to a strippers club; 8% did not see anything inappropriate in that drunk conversation; and 14% had no opinion.
A whopping 62% of respondents objected to the Supermarkets Law; only 20% supported it; and 18% did not care either way.
Only 6% of secular respondents supported the bill; 21% traditional Jews supported it, as did 46% of religious Jews and 65% of Haredim.
But 12% of the Haredim opposed the law, as did 27% of religious Jews, 64% of traditional Jews, and 87% of the secular.