Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
(L-R) MK Moshe Gafni, Minister Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, March 4, 2020.

The latest issue of the Haredi magazine Mishpacha offers a Direct Polls survey targeting the Haredi public that asked, if in the upcoming elections Benjamin Netanyahu will again fail to form a government, how should the Haredi factions behave?

In such a case, 75% of United Torah Judaism voters have no question at all: their party must disengage from Netanyahu. 55.9% of Haredi responders called for Netanyahu to vacate his seat in favor of another candidate from the right, while 19% said that in order to prevent another round, their elected representatives should consider––an emphasis on consider––supporting a center-left candidate (meaning Benny Gantz – DI). Only 10% did not know.

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This means, as the magazine put it, that only 15% of Ashkenazi Haredi voters demand complete loyalty to Netanyahu, the way their political representatives behaved over the past four elections.

The picture is somewhat different among Sephardic voters: most Shas voters, 53%, think this is Netanyahu’s final chance to capture the helm, but a substantial number, 38%, demand that the party guarantee absolute loyalty to the Likud chairman, even if this would mean a sixth election.

The Mishpacha report conceded that in Lapid’s case responders would probably have curbed their enthusiasm.

The pollsters did ask which parties should be off-limits to the Haredi factions in terms of a partnership in a coalition government, and 78% opposed Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu, 63% Meretz, 53% Yesh Atid, 50% Ra’am, and 40% Labor. Only 15% supported a Haredi coalition with all of the above.

MK Moshe Gafni is by far the most popular leader in both the Lithuanian and Chassidic segments of UTJ. 55% of the Haredi public believe that Gafni is the best qualified to serve as party chairman, 15% support the Chassidic leader MK Meir Porush, and 8% want the Chassidic MK Yitzhak Goldknopf. Among the Chaasidic public, Gafni receives 25%, compared with 29% who support Porush and 19% Goldknopf.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.