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Poll: 66% of Israelis Want Netanyahu to Exit Politics Amid Ultra-Orthodox Draft Controversy

With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu facing declining support, Israel may be on the cusp of significant political change.

A recent television poll from Israel’s Channel 12 reveals that approximately two-thirds of Israeli citizens believe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should step down from politics and abandon any plans for reelection. This sentiment comes in the wake of a tumultuous week in Israeli politics, sparked by the High Court’s landmark decision regarding the military conscription of ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students.

The survey highlights the significant impact of the High Court’s ruling on Israeli public opinion and potentially on Netanyahu’s political future. This development adds to the ongoing challenges facing Israel’s longest-serving prime minister.

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The poll by Meno Geva and the Sample Institute found that 57% of respondents believe the Prime Minister is dividing the country. 30% of those surveyed said they support Naftali Bennett, who will lead a new right-wing party. This is also the level of support for Bennett among voters who oppose Netanyahu. More than half (54%) of those surveyed think the government is neglecting the issue of abducted Israelis. There is strong support (66%) for recruiting ultra-Orthodox Jews into the military.

In addition, Channel 12 reported that 57% of the entire sample think that the Prime Minister is divisive, while 42% of Netanyahu’s supporters think that he actually unifies.

The polls also found that 54% of the Israeli public thinks that the government is abandoning the Israelis held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Also, 34% of those among them define themselves as right-wing. Regarding a state commission of inquiry into the failures that led to the October 7 massacre, 85% of all respondents answered that one should be established.

This news comes just one week after another Channel 12 poll found that the former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who is currently retired from politics, led surveys as to who the Israeli public would most like to be the country’s next prime minister.

In that poll, out of all the people surveyed, 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.

The poll reflects growing dissatisfaction with Netanyahu’s leadership, particularly in light of recent political tensions. The High Court’s decision on ultra-Orthodox conscription has intensified debates over religious exemptions and national service obligations.

These results highlight the complex challenges facing Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, balancing religious considerations, national security, and public sentiment.
As Israel grapples with these issues, the political landscape appears increasingly volatile. The emergence of Naftali Bennett as a potential alternative to Netanyahu suggests a possible shift in right-wing leadership preferences.

This poll underscores the dynamic nature of Israeli politics and the potential for significant changes in the country’s leadership and policies in the near future.



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