‘Only 4% of Israelis think Kerry, Ban will bring calm’

Poll finds Likudniks prefer Sa’ar over Netanyahu.

October 23, 2015 03:04
2 minute read.
Kerry Netanyahu upset

Kerry, Netanyahu in Tel Aviv July 23. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The efforts of US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon to end the wave of Arab violence are doomed to failure, an overwhelming majority of Israelis believe, according to a Panels Research poll broadcast Thursday on the Knesset Channel.

The poll found that only 4 percent believe Kerry and Ban’s diplomatic efforts will succeed, while 77% said they would not bear fruit, and the remainder did not know or want to answer.

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The public’s view of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the conflict continued its downward spiral.

The poll found that 72% were unsatisfied with the prime minister’s performance and 27% were satisfied, compared to last week’s poll in which 68% were unsatisfied and 30% approved of his handling of the security situation.

But the candidates to replace Netanyahu from other parties did not fare well in the poll either. When respondents were asked who they would like to see in charge of domestic security, only 1% said opposition leader Isaac Herzog.

Twenty-two percent said Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman, 18% Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett, 12% Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, 11% Netanyahu, 6% Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, and 3% MK Tzipi Livni.

Inside the Likud, the poll found that citizens, and Likud voters in particular, want to see former interior minister Gideon Sa’ar come back to politics. Forty-three percent of respondents said they wanted Sa’ar back, 19% said they did not, and the rest declined to answer or had no opinion. Among self-declared right-wing voters, more than 50% want Sa’ar back.

Asked in which framework Sa’ar should return, 58% said Likud, 24% another current party and 10% said a new party headed by him. Among those who said he should run in Likud, 63% said he should run against Netanyahu and 35% said join the party under Netanyahu.

The poll asked Likud voters whether they would support Sa’ar if he challenged Netanyahu.

Forty-two percent said yes, 36% said no, and the rest declined to respond or had no opinion.

Sa’ar, who was Netanyahu’s No. 2 in the Likud for many years, took a break from politics in September 2014 after sparring with the prime minister.

He is expected to make a political comeback at some point in the future. Speaking at an Israel Democracy Institute event memorializing slain prime minister Yitzhak Rabin on Tuesday, Sa’ar said Israel required better leadership.

“We are sick of words,” he said. “We need leadership that can take initiative and that is not satisfied with simply responding to incidents.

Israel needs leadership that knows its role is to serve the people and not the opposite, leadership that is ready to pay a price for a path that it believes in and will lead.”

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