Poll: Majority of Israelis Don’t Believe Netanyahu

Israeli Prime minister Binymin Netanyahu leads the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s office in Yerushalayim on Sunday. (Amit Shabi/Pool)

More than half of Israelis do not believe Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s denials of wrongdoing in the ongoing police investigation, according to a new poll released on Tuesday.

The Channel 2 research shows that 54 percent of the public do not accept the prime minister’s assertion that “there was nothing” to the allegations; 28 percent do believe him and 18 percent said they don’t know.

Despite their stated distrust of Netanyahu, only 44 percent said he should resign, while 43 percent think he should stay, and 13 percent don’t know.

As he fights for his political survival, Netanyahu retains overwhelming support within the Likud—94 percent saying he should stay on the job.

In the event Netanyahu were to resign, Israelis had no clear preference for his successor, which has long been the case.

The poll said 17 percent favored Yair Lapid as a replacement for Netanyahu; Naftali Bennett had 10 percent; former Likud minister Gideon Saar, 10 percent; opposition leader Isaac Herzog, 6; and former defense minister Moshe Yaalon, 6.

If elections were held now, Yesh Atid would pull ahead of Likud, consistent with other recent polling results. Yesh Atid would get 26 seats, versus Likud with 24 seats.

The Joint (Arab) List would have 13 seats; the Jewish Home party, 12; the Zionist Camp, 11; Kulanu 7; Yisrael Beytenu, 7; Shas 7; UTJ, 7, and Meretz 6.

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