Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, June 3, 2018.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The Agudat Yisrael Party’s Council of Torah Sages will hold a fateful meeting Sunday night that could decide whether Israel will go to early elections.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pressured Agudat Yisrael leader Ya’acov Litzman over the weekend to support a controversial haredi (ultra-Orthodox) conscription plan. Netanyahu reportedly told Litzman that he wanted to pass the bill as soon as possible, even if early elections are initiated.
A Panels Research poll broadcast on Channel 2’s Meet the Press program found that a majority of the public favors holding early elections. Forty-two percent said they were in favor, 38% against and 20% had no opinion.
Asked whether they backed legislation that would prevent Netanyahu from being prosecuted on corruption charges, 60% said no, 25% yes and 15% did not know.
The poll, which had a 4.4% error margin, asked 505 respondents representing a statistical sample of the Israeli adult population who among five possible candidates on the Center-Left was most fit to be prime minister.
The overwhelming majority – 61% – said none of the above, followed by former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz with 13%, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid with 10%, opposition leader Tzipi Livni with 7%, former prime minister Ehud Barak with 6%, and current Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay last with only 3%.
Asked about the poll on the Meet the Press program, Gabbay said he would not quit the party’s chairmanship.
“My party is the 57,000 members of Labor, not just those who have spent their entire lives encouraging infighting and divisiveness and brought the party to where it is today,” Gabbay said.
Zionist Union MK Eyal Ben-Reuven called upon parties on the Center-Left to unite ahead of the next election in a speech at a Shabbat cultural event in Netanya.
“The time has come for the party leaders to give up their egos and select one of them to lead the bloc and unite everyone toward the goal of bringing down the current right-wing extremist government,” Ben-Reuven said.
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