Finance Minister Yair Lapid scored the lowest among the cabinet’s 23 ministers
in a Panels poll sponsored this week by The Jerusalem Post’s Hebrew sister
publication, Sof Hashavua.
The poll of 505 respondents representing a
statistical sample of the Israeli population was asked to rate the job
performance of all the ministers on a score of one to 100.
score given to the ministers was only 50.
Lapid scored only 40, five
lower than the ministers who tied for the second lowest grade, Construction and
Housing Minister Uri Ariel and Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa
Finance ministers tend to score low in such polls, because they
have to implement painful budget cuts and make difficult choices about the
Nevertheless, Lapid’s last place finish was
surprising considering that his Yesh Atid party did so well in the election less
than a year ago.
The ministers who fared the best were Defense Minister
Moshe Ya’alon with a grade of 64, Education Minister Shai Piron (59), Interior
Minister Gideon Sa’ar (56), Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan (56) and
Transportation Minister Israel Katz (55).
Israelis tend to respect their
defense ministers, but Amir Peretz and Ehud Barak, in his second term, were
clear exceptions. Ya’alon’s professionalism, mild manner, and modesty have
worked in his favor. Piron scored points for shortening the summer vacation last
week and Sa’ar for delaying the start of daylights savings time.
Post sponsored a similar poll three years ago, the ministers who fared best were
then-communications minister Moshe Kahlon, who had just completed his cellular
reform, and then-environment minister Erdan.
Kahlon used the poll to
promote his political career and portray himself as a future candidate for prime
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tied for sixth with Negev and
Galilee Development Minister Silvan Shalom, at 53. The other ministers given
positive grades of at least 50 were Health Minister Yael German (52), Tourism
Minister Uzi Landau (50), Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich (50)
and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett (50).
Several ministers fared
significantly better among their party’s voters. For instance among Likud
Beytenu voters, Netanyahu scored 73, 20 higher than among the general
Other ministers much more popular among their voters were
Bennett, who scored a 77 among Bayit Yehudi voters, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni
(48 in the public, 69 among Hatnua voters), and Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor
Liberman (47 among the public, 65 among Likud Beytenu voters).
five ministers who at least 25 percent of respondents said they did not know
enough to grade: Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir, Landver, Senior Citizens
Minister Uri Orbach, Science and Technology Minister Ya’akov Peri, and Social
Welfare Minister Meir Cohen.