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Poll#1: Panels conducted a poll that was broadcast by the Knesset Channel on Aug 22 2016.

What grade do you give the conduct of Minister Yisrael Katz in the Transportation Ministry?

47% Good, 31% Average, 12% Bad, 10% Don’t know

Do you think the Transportation Ministry is doing enough to prevent traffic accidents?

72% No, 17% Don’t know, 11% Yes

If asked, would you suggest to Yisrael Katz to accept the Foreign Ministry or to remain in the Transportation Ministry?

54% Stay in Transportation, 21% Move to a different ministry, 20% Don’t know, 5% Move to Foreign Ministry


Poll#2: Panels conducted a poll that was broadcast by the Knesset Channel on Aug 29 2016.

Why do you think Ehud Barak decided to speak out publicly in recent months?

69% He is interested in returning to politics, 19% Don’t know, 12% Concern for the State of Israel

Do you think that Barak’s latest remarks on Netanyahu were worthy or not worthy statements?

48% Not worthy, 26% Worthy, 26% Don’t know

Do you want to see Ehud Barak return to politics?

68% No, 20% Yes, 12% Don’t know

Note: Among center-left voters – 60% No, 27% Yes, 13% Don’t know

Follow up questions for those who answered they do want Barak to return:

 In which position would you like to see Ehud Barak?

48% Defense Minister, 26% Prime Minister, 26% Don’t know

In which framework should Ehud Barak return to politics?

43% Labor Party, 36% A different existing party, 13% He should create a new party

Note: Among center-left voters – 49% Labor, 32% He should create a new party, 5% A different existing party


Poll#3: Panels conducted a poll that was broadcast by the Knesset Channel on Sep 5 2016.

Who do you think is responsible for the train crisis?

35% Haredim, 33% Netanyahu, 21% Yisrael Katz, 11% Don’t know

Note: Among right voters – 37% Haredim, 29% Katz, 21% Netanyahu, 13% Don’t know

Should Prime Minister Netanyahu fire Yisrael Katz as a result of the crisis?

65% No, 24% Don’t know, 11% Yes

Do you think that the real issue is giving in to the Haredim on the issue of working on the railroads during the Sabbath or is it just an excuse to have a political crisis between Netanyahu and Katz?

46% Haredim are an excuse to create a political crisis, 43% Issue is giving in to the Haredim, 11% Don’t know

What is your position on the public sector working on the Sabbath?

37% Allow more work on the Sabbath, 28% Complete stop of work on the Sabbath, 17% Maintain the current status-quo on the issue of working on the Sabbath, 13% Decrease the level of work on the Sabbath, 5% No opinion

What is your position on public transportation on the Sabbath?

34% Limited public transportation, 32% Full public transportation, 31% Maintain the status quo, 3% Don’t know

Poll#1: Smith conducted a poll of 500 people with a margin of error of 4.5% that was broadcast by Reshet Bet Radio on Sep 4 2016.

Who is in your opinion is responsible for the Shabbat Crisis?

43% Prime Minister Netanyahu, 25% Haredi parties, 19% Transportation Minister Katz, 13% No opinion

In your opinion should the Prime Minister fire or not fire the Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz?

82% Not fire, 18% Fire

Notes: Among those who fault Yisrael Katz for the Shabbat crisis: 53% Not fire, 47% Fire. 43% of Haredim said Katz should be fired. Among Likud voters 76% said don’t fire and 24% said fire. Among Zionist Union voters 13% said fire, 11% of Yesh Atid voters also said he should be fired, just 5% of Meretz voters said Katz should be fired. 10% of Bayit Yehudi voters said Katz should be fired.


Poll #2: HaMidgam Project (formerly Dialog) conducted a poll of 501 people for Walla that was published on Sep 4 2016.

In your opinion who is responsible for the crisis of the train work on the Sabbath?

42% Prime Minister Netanyahu, 27% Haredi parties, 17% Transportation Minister Katz, 11% No opinion, 3% Someone else

Do you support or oppose infrastructure work on trains during the Sabbath?

57% Support, 35% Oppose, 8% no opinion

Notes:  57% of secular Jews blame Netanyahu and 37% of traditional Jews blame Netanyahu. Among religious Jews 40% blame Katz, 19% the Haredi parties and 16% blame Netanyahu. Among Haredim 53% blame Katz, 19% blame Netanyahu and just 6% blame their own Haredi parties.

Among secular Jews 86% support the work on the Sabbath compared to 7% who oppose. Among traditional Jews the level of support is 56%. Among religious Jews 78% oppose the work on the Sabbath and 13% support it. Among Haredim – 100% oppose the work on the Sabbath.


Poll #3: Midgam conducted a poll of 500 people that was broadcast by Channel 2 on Sept 4 2016.

Who is to blame for the Train Crisis?

49% Netanyahu, 21% Both equally, 14% Katz

Should Netanyahu fire Minister Katz?

64% No, 17% Yes

Was Netanyahu’s decision not to have the work done on Shabbat justified?

63% No, 25% Yes


Poll #4:  Panels conducted a poll of 502 people with a 4.3% margin of error that was published by Maariv on Sep 5 2016

Would you advise Netanyahu to fire or not fire Minister Yisrael Katz?

62% No, 26% Don’t know, 12% Yes

Note: 62% – number the same among Likud members.

Who do you support in the current working on the Sabbath crisis?

52% Katz, 25% Netanyahu, 23% Don’t know

Note: Among Likud voters 41% support Katz, 32% support Netanyahu & 27% don’t know.

Is the current crisis due to the Sabbath or is it an internal political issue between Netanyahu and Katz?

67% Internal political issue, 21% About the Sabbath crisis, 12% Don’t know.

Note: Among Likud voters 60% think it is an internal political issue, 33% about the Sabbath crisis and 7% didn’t know.

In principle do you support or oppose serious infrastructure work on the Sabbath?

61% Support, 34% Oppose, 5% No opinion

Note: Among Likud voters 58% support working on the Sabbath, 33% oppose and 9% don’t know.

Are you pleased with the way Transportation Minister Katz does his job?

62% Yes, 30% No

Smith conducted a poll of 500 people with a 4.5% margin of error for Army Radio that was broadcast on Sep 2 2016. The poll was conducted on Aug 31.


Rank from a scale of 1-10 each minister in terms of how well they do their job with 10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest?

Rank, Minister, (Party), 1-10 rank avg, % of people with an opinion

1 Yaakov Litzman (UTJ) 6.29 – 92%
2 Yisrael Katz (Likud) 5.71 – 93%
3 Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) 5.51 – 92%
4 Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) 5.36 – 96%
5 Gilad Erdan (Likud) 5.09 – 90%
6 Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beitenu) 5.06 – 91%
7 Miri Regev (Likud) 4.82 – 95%
8 Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) 4.75 – 95%
9 Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) 4.66% – 97%
10 Aryeh Deri (Shas) 3.92% – 90%

Note: The other 11 ministers were not polled.

Do you agree or not agree with the opinion that Israeli society treats Israelis of Ethiopian heritage in a racist manner?

61% Yes, 30% No, 9% No opinion

Notes: Among secular 67% said yes compared to 50% of religious people who said yes. 52% of Likud voters agreed.

Smith conducted a poll of 500 people with a margin of error of 4.5% for the Jerusalem Post that was published on September 1 2016. The poll was taken on Aug 31.

Current Knesset seats in [brackets]

27 [30] Likud

20 [11] Yesh Atid

13 [13] The Joint (Arab) List

12 [24] Zionist Union

12 [08] Bayit Yehudi

09 [06] Yisrael Beitenu

07 [10] Kulanu

07 [07] Shas

07 [06] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ

06 [05] Meretz

69 [67] Current Right-Religious Coalition

51 [53] Current Center-Left-Arab Opposition

Scenario Poll: New Party of Yaalon+Saar+Kahlon

Current Knesset seats in [brackets]

25 [30] Likud

16 [11] Yesh Atid

16 [10] New Party (Yaalon, Saar, Kahlon)

13 [13] The Joint (Arab) List

11 [24] Zionist Union

11 [08] Bayit Yehudi

08 [06] Yisrael Beitenu

07 [07] Shas

07 [06] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ

06 [05] Meretz

74 [67] Right-Religious

46 [53] Center-Left-Arab

Maagar Mochot conducted a poll that was broadcast by 103 FM Radio on Aug 11 2016.

Current Knesset seats in [brackets]

27 [30] Likud

21 [11] Yesh Atid

13 [08] Bayit Yehudi

13 [13] The Joint (Arab) List

10 [24] Zionist Union

09 [06] Yisrael Beitenu

08 [07] Shas

07 [06] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ

06 [10] Kulanu

06 [05] Meretz

70 [67] Right-Religious

50 [53] Center-Left-Arab

KnessetJeremy Analysis: This is first Maagar Mochot poll released to the public since January.  It is within the margin of error of the latest Geocartographia polls as well as the latest Panels, Smith, Dialog, Midgam and Teleseker polls. I will update the KnessetJeremy Average shortly to reflect the latest poll.

Geocartographia conducted a poll of 500 people that was broadcast on Razi Baraki’s Army Radio Program on Aug 7 2016.

Current Knesset seats in [brackets]

25 [30] Likud

22 [11] Yesh Atid

16 [08] Bayit Yehudi

13 [13] The Joint (Arab) List

11 [06] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ

08 [24] Zionist Union

07 [07] Shas

07 [06] Yisrael Beitenu

06 [10] Kulanu

05 [05] Meretz

72 [67] Right-Religious

48 [53] Center-Left-Arab

KnessetJeremy Analysis: Last poll that came out was from the same pollster about two weeks ago. Here is the trend: Likud gained 4 seats, Shas 3, Yesh Atid 2 and Yisrael Beitenu 1. Meretz dropped 4 seats, Kulanu lost 3, Zionist Union decreased by 2 and UTJ fell by 1.

Following the 2015 election, between Phase 2 and Phase 3, Netanyahu and his Likud Party signed coalition agreements with each of his original coalition partners – Kulanu, Bayit Yehudi, Shas and UTJ. One of the key clauses set the number of cabinet ministers at 20, which would require an amendment to the new law that was supposed to limit new governments to 18 ministers, and gave Likud 12 of the 20 ministers.

Four of the original 12 Likud ministers are no longer in the cabinet: Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Silvan Shalom, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, Science and Technology Minister Danny Danon and Minister without Portfolio Benny Begin. First, Begin was forced out of the government to allow Likud’s #2 Gilad Erdan to re-enter the cabinet. Danon resigned from the cabinet to become Israel’s Ambassador to the UN. Shalom resigned due to scandal. Yaalon chose to resign from Knesset instead of accepting a demotion to Foreign Minister after Avigdor Liberman entered the coalition.

Two Likud Ministers who held two portfolios had to give up their main portfolio. Yariv Levin handed the Homeland Security Ministry to Erdan, and Zeev Elkin handed the Immigration and Absorption Ministry to Yisrael Beitenu’s Sofa Landver.

The Foreign Ministry has been left without a Minister for the entire term. Prime Minister Netanyahu kept it open for Yair Lapid, Issac Herzog or Liberman. The argument that Netanyahu is still keeping it open for Lapid or Herzog is no longer working within Likud circles. Supposedly, Speaker Edelstein was offered the Foreign Ministry and rejected it. The three Likud ministers with the most seniority – Erdan, Yisrael Katz and Yuval Steinitz – are all vying for the job.

While Erdan, Katz and Steinitz – ministers in Netanyahu’s last three cabinets – wait for the Foreign Ministry, the rookie Likud ministers are also hoping for a promotion later in the term and would prefer Netanyahu not add more Likud ministers into the mix. If new ministers are added to the government it would decrease the chances a current minister would be promoted.

Likud has ten ministers, not 12, because Netanyahu has been slow to appoint new ministers. This has led to circumstances that forced him to give the Likud spots away to other parties. Litzman took Danon’s spot when the Supreme Court forced Litzman to be promoted from a Deputy Minister to a Minister. Shalom and Yaalon’s spots were given to Yisrael Beitenu when they joined the coalition. Likud’s Tzachi Hanegbi was able to take the spot of Kulanu’s Avi Gabai when Moshe Kahlon refused to name a new minister to replace the resigning minister and took Gabai’s Environment portfolio for himself. Netanyahu is still bound by the law of 20 ministers – unless he chooses to change it.

There is pressure from the Likud on Netanyahu to increase the government from 20 to 22 ministers. The coalition agreements require 12 Likud Ministers, so it would be difficult for the coalition partners to object. Four Likud MKs view themselves as candidates for the two spots – Former Minister Begin, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, Deputy Regional Cooperation Minister Ayoub Kara, and Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Avi Dichter. The opposition would love the opportunity for a news-cycle where they can vote against the expansion of the government. Kulanu has the right to a third minister, should they request it, which could mean a cabinet of 23 ministers.

Instead, today, the cabinet will approve a mini-reshuffle. Elkin will get Gabai’s old portfolio, Chaim Katz will get the Labor part of the Economy Ministry, and Kahlon will take the Trade part of the Economy Ministry for himself. Hanegbi will remain a minister without portfolio.


Netanyahu doesn’t want to appoint Erdan, Katz or Steinitz as Foreign Minister. Netanyahu did not win the last three terms in a row by rewarding popular Likud Ministers with top jobs so they could build their résumé. Netanyahu has been careful not to give a Likud #2 a key position since his first #2 Defense Minister Itzick Mordechai contributed to his downfall in the 1999 Elections. Kahlon (2006), Gideon Saar (2009 & 2013) and Erdan (2015) have won the top spot in last four Likud Knesset Primary Elections. None of them received one of the top three or four portfolios during their time in the Likud. Instead Netanyahu has given the top jobs to Likud MKs that have not finished in the Likud top five such as his decision to give Steinitz the Finance Ministry in 2009 and Yaalon the Defense Ministry in 2013 and 2015. It was a factor that also helped install Edelstein, who was going to lose his minister position, instead of Rivlin, for the Speaker position in 2013. Erdan and Katz are very popular within the Likud and giving one of them the Foreign Ministry would create two potential competitors – one in a key government office and the other as an opposition leader who would become a daily thorn in Netanyahu’s side. Steinitz is less popular than Erdan and Katz, and Netanyahu passed over both the last time he gave Steinitz a senior portfolio. It would be difficult to get away with it twice.

Liberman was a key Netanyahu ally in the 1990s and became his first Prime Minister Office Director General. Liberman realized that he could get more out of Netanyahu from outside the Likud. Over the last three terms he has received the Foreign Ministry twice and is now Defense Minister, despite holding just five Knesset seats. Naftali Bennett was Netanyahu’s Chief-of-Staff during the important time he re-branded himself as Opposition Leader following the Second Lebanon War. Bennett, and Ayelet Shaked (Netanyahu’s Chief-of-Bureau) joined the Bayit Yehudi Party and are now both sitting on the Security Cabinet. Kahlon created his own Kulanu Party and finally receive the Finance Ministry that he desired. Previously Saar, and more recently Yaalon, have flirted with the idea of creating their own party in order to get a top portfolio position. For Saar it would be the first time he received a top post. For Yaalon it would be getting his position back.

Netanyahu doesn’t want to expand his cabinet. The opposition will have a field day. He has 20 ministers, he just had a reshuffle, and he still doesn’t have a portfolio to give the newest member Hanegbi. Even if he did increase his cabinet, how would he choose two of the four candidates and get away with it? If he does promote a Deputy Minister or a Knesset Chairman it would require him to reshuffle the backbenchers which he would prefer avoiding.

The Knesset will go on recess at the end of this week. Netanyahu will not need to worry about the Knesset until it reconvenes on October 31st. That is when Netanyahu needs his other 29 Likud MKs to start voting for his bi-annual budget that is designed to ensure the coalition lasts until at least late 2018/early 2019. Kulanu, Bayit Yehudi, Shas, UTJ and Yisrael Beitenu are loyal coalition partners who are all ready for this government’s biggest test. With the current infighting in his own party – it is Netanyahu who needs to worry if his house is in order.

The silver lining for the Prime Minister is that the Likud is leading the polls. The current KnessetJeremy Polling Average has Likud with 25.0 seats and Yesh Atid in second with 19.8 seats. The Zionist Union led by Opposition Leader Issac Herzog has dropped to fifth place, and the numbers of seats have been cut in half from 24 seats to 12 seats. The current coalition averages 68.5 seats to the opposition’s 51.5 seats.


If Netanyahu, who is a master politician, is able to survive the cabinet reshuffle that wasn’t, then he will push off elections until 2019.

Of course, even if he does, in Israel – anything can happen.

Geocartographia conducted a poll that was published by Kol HaZman magazine on July 22 2016.

Current Knesset seats in [brackets]

21 [30] Likud

20 [11] Yesh Atid

16 [08] Bayit Yehudi

13 [13] The Joint (Arab) List

12 [06] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ

10 [24] Zionist Union

09 [10] Kulanu

09 [05] Meretz

06 [06] Yisrael Beitenu

04 [07] Shas

68 [67] Right-Religious

52 [53] Center-Left-Arab

Note: As I have pointed out in the past I am not a big fan of the methodology used by Geocartographia led by Prof. Dagani. However, I do include his polls in the average because he is still among the top eight polling Israeli companies. A previous poll conducted earlier this month by Smith produced the same 68-52 bloc ratio. In addition Dagani’s ability to poll the ultra-orthodox community helps average out the polling companies that have a difficulty polling the ultra-orthodox community such as Dialog and Maagar Mochot. I’ll point out that the UTJ 12 seat showing can be factored in with the usual 3%-4% margin of error. My suggestion is not to not read too much into this particular poll but to acknowledge that the pluses of the Geocartographia system are required to produce our polling average.

Updated KnessetJeremy Polling Average below:

KnessetJeremy Polling Average – The Israeli Poll of Polls

Tzachi Hanebgi Poll

Panels conducted a poll that was broadcast by the Knesset Channel on July 18 2016.

Do you want Tzachi Hanebgi to return to a senior cabinet position?

43% No, 36% Don’t know, 21% Yes

Where do you place Minister Hanegbi on the political map?

41% Moderate right, 21% Center, 12% True right, 7% Left

Note: 10% of right voters labeled him a leftist.

How do Hanegbi’s previous legal troubles influence your opinion of him?

61% For the worse, 23% Doesn’t influence, 14% No opinion, 2% For the better

For right voters: How much does Hanegbi’s past in Kadima influence your opinion of him?

49% Doesn’t influence, 35% Does influence, 16% Don’t know

Do you trust Minister Hanegbi on security issues?

48% No, 33% Yes, 19% Don’t know

For right voters: Does Hanegbi’s family connection as Geula Cohen’s son influence your opinion of him?

60% Doesn’t influence, 22% Better opinion, 5% Worse opinion

For right voters: Which of the Likud Ministers is most suited to replace Netanyahu when he decides to retire?

47% Don’t know, 14% Yisrael Katz, 13% Regev, 11% Erdan, 5% Elkin, 3% Steinitz, 1% Hanegbi,  1% Gamliel, 1% Akunis, 1% Levin, 1% Chaim Katz

Panels conducted a poll that was broadcast by the Knesset Channel on July 11 2016

What grade do you give Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh?

42% Good, 28% Average, 20% Don’t know, 10% Bad

Of the two Commissioners – who did you trust more?

44% Don’t know, 40% Alsheikh, 16% Danino

What is the major problem in Commissioner Alsheikh’s conduct?

22% No problem, 18% Hides things from the public, 13% His relationship with the press, 11% He doesn’t understand the police, 11% The police doesn’t respect him

How does the fact that Commissioner Alsheikh was a senior officer in the Shabak (Shin Bet) influence your opinion of trusting him?

51% For the better, 27% Doesn’t influence, 14% No opinion, 8% For the worse

Should Commissioner Alsheikh adopt the approach that investigations should not be conducted against a sitting Prime Minister?

57% No, 23% Yes, 20% Don’t know

Do you agree with the opinion of Alsheikh that there are investigations that should not be publicized?

66% Yes, 23% No, 11% Don’t know

Is Alsheikh correct to promote officers who were suspected in the past of sexual harassment?

65% No, 20% Don’t know, 15% Yes