Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon (L) takes part in the weekly cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R).
(photo credit: AFP PHOTO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embarked on this week’s effort to expand his coalition in order to fire Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon due to their recent disputes, nearly two-thirds of Israelis believe, according to a Panels Research poll taken Thursday for The Jerusalem Post and its Hebrew sister publication, Ma'ariv Hashavua.
Netanyahu and Ya’alon have sparred over the defense minister’s support for embattled IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan and Netanyahu’s for a soldier who opened fire on an already “neutralized” Palestinian in Hebron on March 24. Netanyahu has repeatedly scolded Ya’alon, whose support among the Center-Left has grown due to his battle against extremists on the Right.Asked if transferring Ya’alon from the Defense Ministry to another position is an action of “firing” him as a result of the confrontation with Netanyahu, 64 percent of respondents said yes; 21% said no; and 15% said they did not know.
The general public was evenly split on whether Ya’alon should quit the Likud because he was removed from his job. More than half of the respondents who vote Likud, 51%, said he should remain in the party, but 26% said he should leave and 23% did not know.
Among the general public, 48% said they oppose the appointment of Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman as defense minister; 37% support it; and 15% said they had no opinion.
Asked if Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog should quit his post due to his failed attempt to join the government, 48% of his party’s voters and 46% of the general public said yes; 39% of his voters and 33% of the public said no; and 13% of his voters and 21% of the public said they did not know.
When Zionist Union voters were asked whom they would support if Labor held a leadership primary now, 36% said former Labor chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich; 24% Herzog; 4% MK Erel Margalit; 1% former Labor leader Amir Peretz; and 35% did not know.
The pollsters questioned 515 people representing a statistical sample of the adult population.
The poll had an error margin of ±4.3 percentage points.