Photo Credit: Tomer Neuberg / Flash 90
MK Itamar Ben Gvir attends a protest in support of police officers in Tel Aviv, August 16, 2022.

Israeli support is growing for the possibility of a ministerial post for right-wing Otzma Yehudit chair and MK Itamar Ben Gvir, as seen in the latest poll by Israel Hayom and Ma’agar Mochot conducted at the start of the week — but the deadlock between the right and left remains.

The question arises in light of Israel’s upcoming national elections on November 1 — the fifth time Israelis are being asked to cast their ballots in less than four years.

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In the poll, 44 percent of those surveyed responded that Ben Gvir’s appointment as a government minister would be “legitimate.”

On the other hand, 40 percent responded that such an appointment would NOT be legitimate.

The administration of US President Joe Biden has expressed its adamant opposition to any appointment of Itamar Ben Gvir as a minister in the next government.

Balad
Most of the public – 51 percent of respondents – said the Israeli Arab Balad party has no place in the Knesset and should be disqualified; just 18 percent said Balad should not be disqualified. However, a full 31 percent ducked the question, with responses ranging from “do not know” to other replies.

The matter was decided by the Central Election Committee in a ruling last Thursday – not the first time such a decision was made. Past similar decisions were overruled by the Supreme Court, and once again Balad has filed an appeal for the court to overturn the ruling.

Balad opposes the state of Israel as a Jewish state and supports the creation of a binational state instead. The party’s stated purpose is the “struggle to transform the state of Israel into a democracy for all its citizens, irrespective of national or ethnic identity.”

Balad also supports the so-called “two state solution” based on the pre-1967 borders, with the transfer of half of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and Gaza to the Palestinian Authority for the creation of a “Palestinian state.” The party also supports the return of Arabs who left their homes in Israel during the 1948 and 1967 wars.

(Ed note: Section 7A of Basic Law states the conditions for disqualifying a candidate or party as being: if its goals or actions either explicitly or implicitly harm the state in one of the following three ways: “(1) negation of the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state; (2) incitement to racism; (3) support for armed struggle by a hostile state or by a terrorist organization against the State of Israel.”)

Who Should Be Prime Minister?
On the question of who is the most suitable for the post of prime minister, 41 percent supported Benjamin Netanyahu, 27 percent supported Yair Lapid and just 10 percent expressed support for Benny Gantz.

The survey also examined the level of concern about the economic situation and revealed most Israelis – 75 percent — are indeed concerned.

Of those, 46 percent of respondents said they are worried to a “great extent” about their financial situation; 29 percent reported being moderately concerned. Just 25 percent said they were “not at all” or “a little” worried about their financial situation.

Latest Party Standings
Here’s how the parties stack up this week:

Parties Passing the 3.5% Threshold
Likud 32
Yesh Atid 24
Religious Zionism 13
National Union 11
Shas 8
UTJ 7
Labor 6
Meretz 6
Yisrael Beytenu 5
Ra’am 4
Hadash-Tal 4

Not Passing the 3.25% Threshold
Jewish Home (Ayelet Shaked) 2.0
New Economic Party (Yaron Zelicha) 0.9
Economic Freedom (Abir Kara) 0.7
Balad (Sami Abu Shehada) 0.6
Youth on Fire (Hadar Mokhtar) 0
Free & Democratic Israel (Eli Avidar) 0

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.