Poll: 59 Percent Say Messaging Scandal Harmed Their Faith in the System

A view of the High Court building in Yerushalayim. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

The “messaging scandal” revolving around the Bezeq case has reduced the faith of Israelis in the justice system, a Yisrael Hayom poll published Wednesday said. According to the poll, taken by the Gal Hadash organization, 59 percent of Israelis say that their faith in the justice and criminal system has been harmed due to the scandal. Just 18 percent said that their faith in the system has not been affected.

Earlier in the week, Hadashot News showed a clip of Interior Minister Rabbi Aryeh Deri and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan commenting to each other about how the cases against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would be affected by the revelations that Ronit Poznansky-Katz, the judge handling the remands of suspects in the Bezeq case, conducted secret communications with a senior attorney in the Israel Securities Authority.

The two were seen saying that Netanyahu was “lucky” that the incident had occurred, as it would make the allegations against him less believable. According to the poll, just 26 percent of Israelis believe that the allegations damaged the cases against Netanyahu. Fifty percent said that the materials police have collected could still be relied upon.

However, 55 percent said that the cases against Netanyahu would be affected by the revelations. One quarter said that only the Bezeq case would be affected, while 31 percent said that all the cases against Netanyahu were weakened by the revelations.

Netanyahu is currently being investigated in three corruption cases: Case 1000, in which Netanyahu was accused of accepting extravagant gifts from millionaire Arnon Milchin, mostly cigars and champagne, and Case 2000, in which the prime minister allegedly leaned on the publishers of Yisrael Hayom to limit distribution of their free newspaper in order to benefit from better coverage in rival newspaper Yediot Acharonot. Police also recommended that Milchin and Arnon Mozes, publisher of Yediot, be indicted for their roles in the cases. In the Bezeq case, the prime minister has been accused of advancing the interests of Shaul Elovich, the majority shareholder in Bezeq and the Walla news site, in order to obtain better coverage for himself and his wife.