New Poll Shows Netanyahu, Lapid in Dead Heat

YERUSHALAYIM -
israeli Defense Minister Moshe 'Boogie' Ya'alon looks over at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking with Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid during a plenum session in the Israeli parliament on June 05, 2013. Photo by Miriam Alster/FLASH90 *** Local Caption *** øàù äîîùìä áðéîéï ðúðéäå îìéàä áéáé éàéø ìôéã ùø äàåöø ùø äáèçåï áåâé éòìåï
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speaking with MK Yair Lapid (R.) in the Knesset. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

As the controversial evacuation of Amona nears, a new poll indicates that the Likud, led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, could be in serious trouble. The Channel Two poll pegs the Likud tied with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party. If elections were held today, both parties would receive 25 Knesset seats.

That would make Netanyahu even more dependent on his coalition partners on the right – partners who will be extremely unhappy if Netanyahu allows Amona to be demolished by the end of December, as the High Court is demanding. Netanyahu held another meeting with Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked Motzoei Shabbos to discuss the Settlement Arrangements Law, which, at least in one of its versions, would allow residents to remain in their homes while arrangements were made to compensate Arabs who claim their homes are built on their land.

In a statement, Netanyahu’s office said that the discussion entailed “consideration of a number of proposals to solve the Amona issue. However, the issue has not been fully resolved, and more discussions are needed.”

The chief opponents to the evacuation of Amona – besides many members of the Likud itself – are MKs in Jewish Home, which according to the poll would receive 11 seats, less than in other recent polls. Yisrael Beitenu, another party in which many MKs oppose the evacuation of Amona, would receive eight seats. Shas and United Torah Judaism would receive seven seats each, as would Kulanu.

On the left, the United Arab List would receive 13 seats, while Zionist Camp/Labor would crash to just 10. Meretz would receive seven seats. Assuming Lapid would not include UAL in his government, he would only be able to form a government if he recruited Kulanu and Jewish Home – an unlikely scenario – or the chareidi parties, an even more unlikely possibility.

Although Netanyahu would still be able to form a government, it’s likely that his coalition partners would impose a great deal of demands on him, Channel Two commentators said. “Lapid continues to grow in strength on the account of the dissolution of Zionist Camp,” said commentator Amit Segal. “Netanyahu remains more or less the same; the recent legal questions surrounding his activities in the submarine deal do not appear to have affected him. Bennett’s Jewish Home loses three seats. None of this portends early elections.”