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Benjamin Netanyahu Would Lose to Former Israeli PM Naftali Bennett: Polls Shows

Naftali Bennett

Naftali Bennett Speaks at Cyber Week 2022 (Photo credit: Cyber Week)

The former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who is currently retired from politics, is now the leader in the polls for who the Israeli public would most like to be the country’s next prime minister. A survey conducted by Israel’s Channel 12 News found Bennett ahead of current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the first time.

Out of all the people polled, 36% said they preferred that Naftali Bennett be the prime minister. Benjamin Netanyahu had just 28% support. 31% said they said they wanted neither of the two men and 5% of respondents said that they did not know.

In some bad news for the government, the same poll found that not only do most Israelis support the IDF over Benjamin Netanyahu, a majority of 51% do not believe that total victory over the Hamas terrorist organization is possible.

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Benjamin Netanyahu fared better against the current leader of the Opposition in the Knesset Yair Lapid. In a head-to-head poll, Netanyahu came away with 33% support and Lapid got just 28% support. However, 24% of respondents said they support neither of the two political leaders, a higher percentage than either one received.

In more bad news for Benjamin Netanyahu, another political rival Benny Gantz tied the Prime Minister in another head-to-head poll in which both men received 32% support for the premiership. However, more people, 36% responded that they preferred neither or did not know than who selected either one. Benny Gantz is a former Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff and a former Israel Defense Minister. He has been an opposition leader since Netanyahu returned to office but did serve for eight months in Israel’s special “war cabinet” that was formed after the October 7 Hamas massacre.

Gantz resigned from the war cabinet a few weeks ago over disagreements with the Prime Minister on the conduct of the war in Gaza.

But the biggest blow to Benjamin Netanyahu in the Channel 12 polling came in one survey which found that 63% of the Israeli public considered his performance during the war in Gaza to be “poor.”

As for Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, 46% of respondents said his performance during the war was poor and 45% said it was good.

Two right-wing members of Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet received overwhelmingly negative scores. The leader of the Religious Zionism Party, Finance Bezalel Smotrich, had a 68% negative rating. The leader of the Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Strength) Party, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir had a 65% negative rating. It should be noted, however, that their joint list received just 10.83% of the national vote in the last Israeli general election.

Another thing that must be considered is the fact that Israel is a parliamentary democracy with proportional representation in the Knesset. No party has ever held a majority in the Knesset and all governments are coalitions. Also, no elections are planned in the near future and anything can change before another general Knesset election is held.



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