One day after Israeli Police had announced its recommendation to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on two cases of bribery and corruption, it appears that the PM’s political power remains intact.
In fact at least one reporter, Guy Peleg, who covers the judicial scene for Channel 2, suggested on Wednesday night that the State Prosecutor’s Office is enraged at the police for the weak body of evidence it provided as the foundation for an indictment. After all the hype, Peleg said, now if the prosecution decides not to indict in a case it doesn’t believe it can win, they would look like Bibi’s lackeys.
Meanwhile, reputable pollsters Mina Tzemach and Manu Geva have conducted a survey showing the Likud is gaining strength among voters. Go figure. Some politicians are all Teflon.
71% of the respondents to Tzemach-Geva said that the publication of the police recommendations did not change their position on Netanyahu – a measly 12% said they did.
Now get this: on the question of whether elements in law enforcement and the political establishment are trying to launch a coup with the Netanyahu investigations–the most stirring and, possibly, outrageous argument in Bibi’s rebuttal speech Tuesday night—a whopping 34% agreed.
The poll, released Wednesday on Channel 10 News, respondents gave 26 seats to the Likud party (down 4). But Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, which in recent polls had climbed up to 27 seats (from 11), has slipped to 22 – which is a good score, but Lapid’s involvement as a prospective “key witness” for the prosecution in the Netanyahu investigation should have netted him more, had the voters been in a rage against Bibi.
The Zionist camp, headed by newcomer (to Labor politics) Avi Gabai, won 15 seats, down from 24. The Joint Arab List clipped down to 12 seats from 13. Naftali Bennett’s Habayit Hayehudi up 3, from 8 to 11 seats. Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu down from 10 to 9. Meretz up 2, from 5 to 7. United Torah Judaism up from 6 to 7 seats. Yisrael Beiteinu holds on to its 6 seats. Shas slipping from 7 to 5 seats.
In a Channel 2 News survey, 50% of respondents said Netanyahu should resign, 42% said he shouldn’t. Not so bad, considering the hype.