Majority of right wing voters support Netanyahu remaining PM even if indicted

Only 18% said the prime minister should resign in such a situation, although 21% said he should temporarily step down until acquitted.

By
August 12, 2019 18:54
2 minute read.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

A majority of right-wing voters believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could remain in office even if he is indicted by the attorney-general, while a whopping two-thirds believe that the law-enforcement agencies are persecuting Netanyahu due to political motives, a new poll has found.

The survey, conducted by the Rafi Smith Institute for the Israel Democracy Institute and published on Monday, also found that a plurality of right-wing voters believe that politicians should be given more power at the expense of the justice system.

The poll was conducted between June 24 and June 26, among a sample of 1,063 voters who voted for Likud, Shas, UTJ, Yisrael Beytenu, the Union of Right-Wing Parties, Kulanu, New Right, Zehut and Gesher in the April 2019 election, with a margin of error of 3%.

According to the poll, 53% of right-wing voters would support Netanyahu remaining in office even if he is ultimately indicted after his pre-indictment hearing with the attorney-general currently scheduled for October.

Only 18% said the prime minister should resign in such a situation, although 21% said he should temporarily step down until acquitted.

Despite these findings, some 56% of respondents said that immunity for elected officials during their term in office would create inequality before the law among citizens.

Among the right wing-voters polled, a heavy majority of 67% believed that the law-enforcement agencies are persecuting Netanyahu due to political motives, with the goal of removing him from his post.

Interestingly, support for this position was highest among ultra-Orthodox voters and voters for the right-wing religious parties, although 72% of Likud voters held the same view.

Asked about one of the key issues of the election and one of the most controversial issues that the next Knesset will deal with, fully 74% of right-wing voters believe that a law allowing the Knesset to override a High Court of Justice decision striking down legislation should be passed in some form.

The last government passed controversial legislation in relation to the settlements, African asylum seekers and migrants, and other controversial issues, which were subsequently struck down or frozen by the High Court following appeals against these laws.

Almost all of the right wing parties have vowed to legislate a High Court of Justice override law which will grant the Knesset the ability to dismiss a ruling of the High Court striking down legislation.

Despite the strong explicit support for a High Court override law, a lower 47% of right-wing voters say they think more power should be given to politicians at the expense of the justice system, although this was still a plurality of the responses, with 43% disagreeing with this position.

And despite the findings of both of those questions, a heavy majority of 67% of respondents said they agreed with the statement that “it is important to maintain the courts’ review and oversight of Knesset and government decisions so that officeholders cannot abuse their power.”


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