Israelis view Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon, Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz as the best-performing ministers in the government, according to a poll for The Jerusalem Post.

They considered Interior Minister Eli Yishai the worst-performing minister, the poll shows, even before acute criticism was directed at him as the minister in charge of the firefighters who struggled to extinguish the conflagration in the Carmel.

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The Smith Consulting poll of a representative sample of 500 adult Israelis was carried out November 30-December 1 and has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points. It asked respondents to grade the 30 ministers on a scale of one to 10, with one being the worst and 10 the best.

The ministers who scored the highest were Kahlon (6.97), Erdan (6.6), Steinitz (5.98), Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog (5.97), Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar (5.96) and Minister-without- Portfolio Bennie Begin (5.93).

Respondents gave the worst grades to Yishai (4.4), followed by his Shas ally Religious Services Minister Ya’acov Margi (4.74).

The poll was taken at a time when Yishai was already receiving bad press for targeting rebellious Shas MK Haim Amsalem, fighting to expel foreign workers and taking unpopular positions on matters of religion and state. After the fire broke out, Yishai faced even worse criticism, amid calls for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to dismiss him.

Netanyahu was near the top of the list at 5.90.

Further poll results, including findings on who would get respondents’ votes if elections were held today, will be published in the Post later this week.

Kahlon’s top rating was seen as connected to his fight against the cellphone companies on behalf of consumers. The poll was taken amid headlines praising Kahlon for his success in forcing the companies to cut exit fees.

Erdan, who is considering an offer to become ambassador to the United Nations, has been given credit for leading an environmental revolution, an issue that is increasingly popular with Israelis.

The fact that Steinitz has remained popular despite being finance minister is considered an accomplishment.

Herzog was given a much better grade than his competition for the Labor Party leadership, Defense Minister Ehud Barak (5.23) and Minority Affairs Minister Avishay Braverman, who at 5.16 was one of the least-popular ministers.

Begin, who has not taken any aides, is popular with the public because of his honesty and his modesty.

“It is a good feeling to be recognized by the public for the work you do,” Kahlon said in response to the poll. “I will continue to work on behalf of the goals I set that will increase competition in the communications market in Israel.”

Aides to Erdan said he was extremely gratified that the public appreciated his work at a ministry whose importance is becoming increasingly recognized.

Yishai’s spokesman declined to comment.

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