Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerged victorious in the political crisis of the past several weeks, according to a new poll taken by Panels Research for the Maariv newspaper that is owned by The Jerusalem Post.
The poll asked 537 respondents representing a statistical sample of the Israeli adult population on Wednesday who the main victor was in the standoff.
Thirty-six percent said Netanyahu
, 15% said Yamina leader Naftali Bennett, nine percent opposition leader Yair Lapid and only eight percent said Blue and White leader Benny Gantz. One percent said Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman. Thirty-one percent said they did not know.
Among Blue and White voters, 29% each said Netanyahu and Gantz. Among Likud voters, 43% said Netanyahu, and no other candidate was in double digits.
The poll predicted 28 seats for Netanyahu’s Likud, 20 for Lapid’s Yesh Atid, 17 for Yamina, 14 for the Joint List, 10 for Blue and White, nine for Yisrael Beytenu, eight for Shas and seven each for United Torah Judaism and Meretz.
Likud is down one seat since last week’s survey by the same pollster, Blue and White went up by one, Yamina is down two and Yesh Atid stayed the same.
Netanyahu’s coalition suffered a blow on Wednesday, when it was forced to postpone a vote on funding for the school year in the Knesset plenum because it lacked a majority. The key legislation had to be postponed by 12 days, because the Knesset is on vacation next week.
said it was unbelievable and shameful that the coalition did not show up for a bill of such importance to Israeli citizens.
Gantz criticized Netanyahu on Wednesday in a speech to haredi (ultra-Orthodox) journalists.
“Netanyahu is causing a rift in the nation,” Gantz
The Likud responded that “Israel required a functioning unity government to work for its people and daily attacks on Netanyahu by Blue and White are unhelpful.” Netanyahu’s party called on Blue and White to unite in serving Israeli citizens.
Netanyahu also faced criticism on Wednesday from his former competitor for the premiership, former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, who spoke at Tel Aviv University’s forum on the handling of the coronavirus.
“I have not seen our leaders setting a personal example or presenting the feeling that the leadership cares about them,” she said. “The need for leadership is critical.”
Livni did not discuss a possible political comeback. Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai has tried to woo her to a new party he hopes to form ahead of the next election, but sources close to her said she is “out of politics.”