Archive for December, 2016

Statnet (former Dialog) conducted a poll of 615 people with a 3.9% margin of error that was broadcast by Channel 10 on Dec 30 2016.

If elections were held today who would you vote for?

Current Knesset seats in [brackets]

27 [11] Yesh Atid
23 [30] Likud
12 [13] The Joint (Arab) List
12 [08] Bayit Yehudi
10 [06] Yisrael Beitenu
08 [24] Zionist Union
08 [07] Shas
07 [10] Kulanu
07 [06] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ
06 [05] Meretz

67 [67] Current Right-Religious Coalition
53 [53] Current Center-Left-Arab Opposition

31% My vote could still change

Who is the most suited to be Prime Minister?

27% Netanyahu
22% None
15% Lapid
11% Don’t know
9% Yaalon
7% Bennett
5% Herzog
4% Barak

Poll #1: Smith conducted a poll of 500 people with a 4.5% margin of error that was broadcast by Reshet Bet Radio on December 30th 2016. The poll was conducted on 28 December 2016, the day of the Kerry Speech.


Which of the following three options to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is acceptable to you?

39% Annex all of the territory to Israel. One state for two peoples.

31% Annex the settlement blocks and create a Palestinian State in the other territories. Including eastern Jerusalem.

30% Two states for two peoples. Division based on 1967 lines. Temple Mount under Palestinian sovereignty. Western Wall under Israeli sovereignty.


Jewish voters: 40% Support 1 State vs 27% that support 2 States.

Arab voters: Great majority for 2 States.


Shas voters: About 80% support for 1 State

Bayit Yehudi voters: 62% 1 State, 28% Settlement Blocks, 10% 2 States

Likud voters: 51% 1 State, 29% Settlement Blocks, 20% 2 States

Yesh Atid voters: 42% 2 States, 33% Settlement Blocks, 25% 1 State

Zionist Union voters: 47% 2 States, 46% Settlement Blocks, 8% 1 State

Joint List voters: 87% support 2 States.


Is the response of Benjamin Netanyahu to the UNSC decision such as cancelling official visits and imposing sanctions against certain countries, among other things, acceptable to you or not acceptable?

56% Acceptable (34% Pretty acceptable, 23% Very acceptable), 44% Not Acceptable (23% Not very acceptable, 20% Not at all acceptable)


Jewish voters: 60% Acceptable.

Arab voters: Majority answered not acceptable.


Bayit Yehudi and Shas voters – About 90% Acceptable

Likud voters: 77% Acceptable, 23% Not Acceptable

Yisrael Beitenu and Kulanu voters: About 64% Acceptable, 36% Not Acceptable

Zionist Union voters: 82% Not Acceptable, 18% Acceptable

Meretz and Joinst List voters: Almost everyone answered Not Acceptable.


Please grade each one of the following ten ministers on a 1-10 scale based on how well they are doing their job, with 10 being highest and 1 the lowest (same poll conducted in August):

1st 6.46 (6.29) – Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (UTJ) – (9% no opinion)

Bayit Yehudi voters: 7.58, Likud voters: 6.7, Zionist Union voters: 5.91, Yesh Atid voters 5.66


2nd 6.14 (5.71) – Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) – (11% no opinion)

Likud voters: 6.65, Bayit Yehudi voters: 6.64, Zionist Union voters: 5.55, Yesh Atid voters 5.37


3rd 5.80 (5.09) – Homeland Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) – (13% no opinion)

Likud voters: 6.65, Bayit Yehudi voters: 6.6, Yesh Atid voters 5.29, Zionist Union voters: 4.75


4th 5.72 (5.51) – Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) – (11% no opinion)

Bayit Yehudi voters: 7.74, Likud voters: 6.67, Yesh Atid voters 4.98, Zionist Union voters: 3.77


5th 5.38 (5.06) – Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beitenu) (10% no opinion)

Bayit Yehudi voters: 6.23, Likud voters: 6.14, Yesh Atid voters 5.11, Zionist Union voters: 4.16


6th 5.30 (5.36) – Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) (6% no opinion)

Bayit Yehudi voters: 7.58, Likud voters: 6.35, Yesh Atid voters 4.12, Zionist Union voters: 3.56


7th 5.15 (4.66) – Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) (5% no opinion)

Likud voters: 7.24, Bayit Yehudi voters: 7.0, Yesh Atid voters 2.9, Zionist Union voters: 2.6


8th 5.13 (4.84) – Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev (Likud) (8% no opinion)

Bayit Yehudi voters: 6.89, Likud voters: 6.84, Yesh Atid voters 3.74, Zionist Union voters: 2.71


9th 5.06 (4.74) – Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) (7% no opinion)

Bayit Yehudi voters: 5.8, Likud voters: 5.67, Zionist Union voters: 4.53, Yesh Atid voters 4.33


10th 4.59 (3.92) – Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) (14% no opinion)

Bayit Yehudi voters: 5.2, Likud voters: 5.15, Zionist Union voters: 3.7, Yesh Atid voters 3.67


*Other ministers were not polled

Poll #1: Statnet (former Dialog) conducted a poll of 615 people with a 3.9% margin of error that was broadcast by Channel 10 on December 29th 2016.

What caused the United States to not use their veto in the UNSC?

38% Hostility towards Israel, 31% American interest, 18% Don’t know, 13% Israeli interest

Were Netanyahu’s punishments of other countries in response to UNSCR helpful to Israel’s foreign policy?

49% Not helpful, 32% Helpful, 19% Don’t know


Poll #2: Panels conducted a poll that was broadcast by the Knesset Channel on December 26th 2016.

How would you define the Israeli Government’s response to the UNSC resolution?

38% Went too far, 35% Correct response, 14% Didn’t go far enough, 13% Don’t know

Was the UNSC decision a diplomatic failure of the Israeli Government?

56% Yes, 36% No, 8% Don’t know

Do you think that the Israeli Government was ready or surprised for the UNSC vote?

51% Surprised, 29% Ready, 20% Don’t know

Did the personal relationship between Netanyahu and Obama influence the UNSC decision?

77% Yes, 12% No, 11% Don’t know


Poll #3 Midgam conducted a poll that was broadcast by the Knesset Channel on December 29th 2016.

Should Israel provide humanitarian assistance to Syrians who have been harmed by civil war?

59% Yes, 31% No, 10% Don’t know

Should Israel take a side in the Syrian civil war or remain neutral?

87% Remain neutral, 7% Don’t know, 6% Take a side

If you would be asked, would you donate money or time to volunteer in Israel to organizations that are providing humanitarian assistance to Syrians?

49% No, 27% Yes, 24% Don’t know

Should the United States intervene in Syria to put an end to the war there?

75% Yes, 15% No, 10% Don’t know

Can the intervention in Syria drag the world into an all-out world war?

44% No, 40% Yes, 16% Don’t know

Is it justified to stop giving refuge to Muslim immigrants in the US and Europe as a result of terror attacks?

64% Yes, 24% No, 12% Don’t know

There is a comparison being made between the apathy shown by the world in Syria to the Jewish genocide in Europe by Nazis. Is this comparison justified?

36% No because Syria is a civil war, 30% Yes, 24% No because there is no deliberate attempt of genocide in Syria, 10% Don’t know

Will the western world come to the defense of Israel if there would be existential threat?

67% No, 21% Yes, 12% Don’t know


Poll #4: Midgam conducted a poll that was broadcast by the Knesset Channel on December 22nd 2016.

Is it justified to change the existing law so that Ministers can personally appoint the board of directors in government owned companies?

73% No, 14% Yes, 13% Don’t know

Is it justified to change the existing law so that the Prime Minister and Ministers can personally appoint and replace all of the office holders in their ministry when the government is formed?

72% No, 21% Yes, 7% Don’t know

Does changing clerks and office holders when a new government is formed benefit the public?

78% No, 15% Yes, 7% Don’t know

Would it be possible in Israel to conduct an orderly transfer of power if all senior office holders and clerks are replaced each time a new minister is appointed?

53% No, 29% Yes, 18% Don’t know

Should the decision on important matters be conducted through a national referendum or through a vote by the coalition in Knesset?

64% National Referendum, 25% Knesset Coalition


Poll #1: Midgam conducted a poll that was broadcast by the Knesset Channel on December 15th 2016.

When it comes to economic and social issues has the Israeli society trended to the right, left or center?

41% Right, 27% Center, 16% Don’t know, 16% Left

What is the trend on economic and social issues in the western world?

39% Right, 23% Left, 22% Center, 16% Don’t know

Should Israel take refugees from African countries in cases where their lives are in danger or should they be arrested?

46% Arrested, 36% Refuge, 18% Don’t know

Are the isolationist inspirations of Trump in the United States and in Europe going to cause the free world to stop absorbing immigrants?

54% Yes, 24% No, 22% Don’t know

Does immigration of Muslims and Africans to Europe contribute to the isolationist policies of preventing free immigration to the free world?

63% Yes, 37% No

Do racist tendencies that have always existed contribute to the isolationist policies of preventing free immigration to the free world?

69% No, 31% Yes

Does the bad economic situation in Europe contribute to the isolationist policies of preventing free immigration to the free world?

70% No, 30% Yes

Does the fall of the Soviet Union and immigration from Eastern Europe contribute to the isolationist policies of preventing free immigration to the free world?

95% No, 5% Yes

Are you worried that the inclination towards isolationism and the right-wing trend in the world will lead to an increase in antisemitism?

61% Yes, 26% No, 13% Don’t know

Could the inclination towards isolationism of President-elect Donald Trump lead him to reduce the aid that has been given to Israel during the last few terms of the previous United States Presidents?

59% No, 23% Yes, 18% Don’t know

Could the inclination towards isolationism of President-elect Donald Trump lead him to harm the economic relations between the United States and China?

43% No, 36% Yes, 21% Don’t know

Could the inclination towards isolationism of President-elect Donald Trump lead him to harm the diplomatic relations between the United States and China?

41% No, 33% Don’t know, 26% Yes


Poll #2:  Panels conducted a poll that was broadcast by the Knesset Channel on December 12th 2016.

Of the following candidates who is most appropriate to lead the Zionist Union?

All voters: 37% Don’t know, 26% Yachimovich, 16% Ashkenazi, 9% Livni, 7% Herzog, 5% Margalit

Center-Left voters: 27% Yachimovich, 24% Don’t know, 16% Livni, 15% Ashkenazi, 10% Herzog, 8% Margalit

Of the following candidates who is most appropriate to lead the Histadrut Workers Union?

54% Don’t know, 19% Yachimovich, 18% Cabel, 9% Nissenkorn

What is your opinion of the Histadrut?

30% Helps all workers, 26% Gives jobs to friends, 25% Helps strong workers, 19% Don’t know

Are you pleased or not pleased with the conduct of MK Yachimovich?

46% Pleased, 40% Not pleased, 14% Don’t know

What issues should Yachimovich focus on?

71% Social & Economic issues, 16% Don’t know, 13% Diplomatic & Security issues

If elected to lead the Histadrut, would Yachimovich be able to manage struggles against the government and private interests?

55% Yes, 28% No, 17% Don’t know


Poll #3: Midgam conducted a poll that was broadcast by the Knesset Channel on December 8th 2016.

Should the government compensate only citizens that have been harmed from terror or should the State also compensate all citizens that are harmed by national disasters?

65% Everybody, 24% Something but less than terror, 8% Not at all, 3% Don’t know

Should the ammonia be moved from Haifa to a different location without a population center?

81% Yes right now, 11% Yes but not right now, 4% Don’t know, 2% No

Should we increase significantly the number of firefighters and our firefighting capabilities such as more fire trucks and fire planes?

79% Yes, 13% No, 8% Don’t know

Do you trust the Israeli government to compensate fully whoever was harmed by the latest fire wave?

43% Not at all, 39% Some compensation, 12% Yes in full, 6% Don’t know

Have the lessons from the Carmel fire six years ago been learned?

57% Some, 24% Not at all, 17% Most, 2% Don’t know

Should the State of Israel invest a special effort to prepare for the possibility of future national disasters?

91% Yes, 5% Don’t know, 4% No


Poll #4: Panels conducted a poll that was broadcast by the Knesset Channel on December 5th 2016.

Do you think the conduct of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit is fair and straight?

38% Yes, 33% Don’t know, 29% No

Do you think Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit deals with cases effectively or does he drag them out?

36% Drag, 33% Don’t know, 31% Treat

Where would you place Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit politically?

46% Right, 33% Don’t know, 14% Center, 7% Left

Is it the right of the government to make a decision against the opinion of the Attorney General?

54% Yes, 24% No, 22% Don’t know

Do you think the Attorney General’s position is too powerful or appropriate?

39% Appropriate, 32% Too Powerful, 29% Don’t know

Do you think that Mandelblit is conducting himself in the wrong way and in favor of Netanyahu?

39% He’s Objective, 31% Don’t know, 30% In favor of Netanyahu

Is it appropriate to call an investigation an examination instead of calling it an investigation?

45% No, 32% Yes, 23% Don’t know


Poll #5: Midgam conducted a poll that was broadcast by the Knesset Channel on December 1st 2016.

Is the Outpost Bill that is meant to cancel the Supreme Court decision on Amona fit the principle of the separation of power between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government?

44% No, 29% Don’t know, 27% Yes

Does the Supreme Court’s decision to evacuate Amona fit the principle of the separation of power between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government?

40% Yes, 30% Don’t know, 30% No

Is it appropriate after an election for a new government to change decisions that had been made by the judicial branch in the previous term by the previous government?

51% No, 39% Yes, 10% Don’t know

From what you know, does the United Kingdom who is the mother of all democracies in the world, allow or forbid the government or the parliament from intervening in the courts and the judicial branch of government?

44% Forbid, 41% Don’t know, 15% Allow

Should the court system fit itself to the government or should the court system remain independent and make their decisions independently?

70% Independent, 25% Fit itself to government, 5% Don’t know

There are those who say that only due to democratic rules and a strong court system was Menachem Begin able to survive in the opposition for so long and eventually reach the leadership of the country. Do you agree with this opinion?

45% Yes, 29% Don’t know, 26% No

Is it justified that a police investigation on government corruption of senior officials be labeled by the Attorney General as a check instead of an investigation?

61% No, 27% Yes, 12% Don’t know

There are governments like the United States in which the leader of the State is not allowed more than two terms. Should we pass a law like that in Israel?

68% Yes, 24% No, 8% Don’t know


Poll #6: Panels conducted a poll that was broadcast by the Knesset Channel on November 28th 2016.

Who do you think should lead the efforts to manage the events following the fire wave of last week?

34% Shimon Ben-Ner, 31% Gilad Erdan, 16% Don’t know, 11% Benjamin Netanyahu, 8% Roni Alsheikh

What grade do you give the authorities in dealing with the fires from 1-10?

9.0 Firefighters, 8.0 Police, 7.9 Municipalities, 6.5 Israeli Government

In your opinion what caused the fires?

68% Nationalistic/Terrorism, 19% Negligence, 13% Don’t know

Do you think that the punishment should be made more severe on people who lit the fires to the point of stripping their citizenship and destroying their homes?

62% Yes, 34% No


Poll #7: Midgam conducted a poll that was broadcast by the Knesset Channel on November 24th 2016.

Should there be a separation between religion and state in Israel?

57% Yes, 35% No, 8% Don’t know

Are you for the Loudspeaker Bill?

69% Yes, 23% No, 8% Don’t know

What should the preferred solution be to resolve the loudspeaker issue? The bill or dialogue with Muslim community leaders and an attempt to reach an understanding.

65% Reach Understanding, 28% Bill, 7% Don’t know

If the loudspeaker bill is passed, should there be another bill against the noise from Jewish traditions?

65% Yes, 27% No, 8% Don’t know

Was Litzman correct in his appeal against the Loudspeaker Bill?

38% No, 35% Yes, 27% Don’t know

Do the Rabbinical Courts and the State deal with those who refuse to grant a divorce through a “get” in the right way?

44% Not doing anything at all, 40% Doing something, but not doing enough, 10% Don’t know, 6% Doing enough

Is the treatment towards Reform Jewry from religious institutions in Israel pushing the US Jewry away from Israel?

52% Yes, 25% Don’t know, 23% No

Later this month the Knesset is expected to approve a biannual state budget that will all but ensure the survival of the current coalition into 2019. The question will shift to what date between January 1st and November 5th the elections for the 21st Knesset will be held in 2019.

The media and opposition are not really covering the state budget. Instead the media and opposition are covering the public broadcasting saga, the Amona Bill, the Loudspeaker Bill, the German submarines, and events such as the latest fires, and the transition from President Obama to President-Elect Trump.

The days of being able to pull a “stinky maneuver” no-confidence motion to topple a government like former President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres attempted on then Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir in 1990 are over. Over time there have been additional changes to the law to make that impossible unless there are 61 MKs that have ahead of time already come to an agreement on a Prime Minister and cabinet. Since then, the easiest way for the Knesset to topple a Prime Minister and replace a government has become the threat of the Knesset not passing the government state budget. As a direct result the state budget became headline news months ahead of time and previous opposition leaders focused their efforts on defeating it.

Last month, with 2,788 days consecutive days in office, Prime Minister Netanyahu passed Ben-Gurion’s record for the longest consecutive term as Prime Minster. As mentioned in previous Weekend Perspective pieces, Netanyahu can pass Ben-Gurion’s overall time as Prime Minister during this current term.  Although Netanyahu’s Likud is tied with Yesh Atid at 24.4 seats in the KnessetJeremy Polling Average, Netanyahu’s current coalition receives 65.7 seats compared to the current opposition that without the non-Zionist Arab parties has just 41.3 seats.

In this biannual state budget Prime Minister Netanyahu and Finance Minister Kahlon are offering Shas and UTJ the most coalition money they have ever had. Shas and UTJ, therefore, have absolutely no reason to rock the boat. Kahlon, who has obviously signed off on his own state budget, is looking for an extra two years so he can push through his reforms and rebound in the polls. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has finally reached his dream ministerial job and the former Foreign Minister is interested in gaining the national defense experience he will need to run for Prime Minister someday. Bayit Yehudi’s Naftali Bennett is still building up his portfolio for an eventual showdown against Liberman and Netanyahu’s Likud successor over the nationalist camp.

The press understands the political reality of Netanyahu’s strength which is why I can understand their decision to ignore for the most part the state budget in favor of the hot topics that will produce ratings and sell papers. After all, the issue of government spending and redistribution of citizens’ tax shekels is not as sexy as discussing German submarines or the Amona situation. Unlike the press, the opposition just seems tired, as if they couldn’t be bothered to even try to read the budget, let alone speak up about it.

Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid, who leads the opposition parties in the polls and is tied with the Likud for the top party in the land, is a one-man-show. The political environment within his party is a more Gush Dan upper-middle-class Ashkenazi and media savvy version of Liberman’s Yisrael Beitenu. The other Yesh Atid MKs jobs are to play a supporting role as a media personality based on the needs and desires of their Chairman. It is easy to build for the future when there is a known system in place and the head of the party can avoid internal elections.

Supposedly, the Zionist Union leads the opposition with 24 seats. Coalition Chairman (Chief Whip) Bitan’s job is made easy by the lack of coordination between the four opposition lists on most issues and bills. Over the last few years most of the Labor Party veterans have given up on politics and taken other jobs outside of the Knesset. 17 of Zionist Union’s 24 MKs are in their first or second terms. Many of the seven veterans are considering outside options or shortcuts to avoid tiring political primaries. Shelly Yachimovich officially announced that she is considering running for the Histadrut Labor Union instead of running against Herzog. Eitan Cabel is considering running for his old position as the Labor Party Secretary General to avoid running in another primary. Some say Amir Peretz would drop his potential bid for the Labor leadership if he is offered another reserved slot. MK Nachman Shai has reportedly considered other outside options. The two former IDF COS Ashkenazi and Gantz have avoided any direct political involvement and are not card-carrying-members. Herzog’s main opposition in the Labor leadership race next year appears to be second-term MK Erel Margalit, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai or perhaps Tzipi Livni. Labor is the only democratic party on the center-left where each member can choose their party leader, MK list, and other party institutions such as their Central Committee and local party branch leadership. Herzog is considered a weak leader, the Zionist Union is down to 11 seats in the KnessetJeremy Polling Average, yet no one strong is showing up to try their luck.

The reality of the 2017-2018 state budget that will most likely pass within the next month is that the current right-religious coalition will remain in power for at least another two years, and based on the polls beyond that as well. The Joint List and Meretz are not even pretending to offer an alternative. The Zionist Union is more interested in the Histradrut Labor Union election than their own Leadership Election next year. Meanwhile, Lapid is playing the long game, and Netanyahu is closing in on Ben-Gurion’s more significant record.

Midgam conducted a poll that was broadcast by Channel 2 on Dec 3 2016.

Current Knesset seats in [brackets]

25 [30] Likud

25 [11] Yesh Atid

13 [13] The Joint (Arab) List

11 [08] Bayit Yehudi

10 [24] Zionist Union

08 [06] Yisrael Beitenu

07 [10] Kulanu

07 [07] Shas

07 [06] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ

07 [05] Meretz


65 [67] Current Right-Religious Coalition

55 [53] Current Center-Left-Arab Opposition


Updated KnessetJeremy Polling Average – The Israeli Poll of Polls: