Public Blames Netanyahu More Than Katz, Chareidim for Rail Crisis

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Israeli public blames Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu more than anyone else for the crisis over infrastructure work by Israel Railways on Shabbos, according to polls released on Monday.

Some 42 percent of respondents said Netanyahu was responsible for the crisis; 17 percent blamed Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz; 27 percent said it was the fault of the chareidi parties; 3 percent named others; and 11 percent had no opinion, according to data gathered by Walla News.

Asked whether Israel Railways should carry out infrastructure work on Shabbos, 57 percent said yes; 35 percent said no; and 8 percent expressed no opinion.

A second poll conducted by Panels Research found that 52 percent said they supported Katz; 25 percent Netanyahu; 23 percent said they did not know.

Asked whether Netanyahu should fire the transportation minister, 62 percent said no, 12 percent said yes, and 26 percent did not know. Among Likud voters, the results were comparable.

Netanyahu appears to have resigned himself to keeping Katz on, but he did find a way of reducing his prestige besides the rebuke he delivered in the middle of the weekly cabinet meeting.

On Monday it was announced that Tourism Minister Yariv Levin will be the acting prime minister while Netanyahu is travels to the Netherlands on Tuesday. Katz had become the regular fill-in, but had it taken away from him after the railway controversy.