(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The Israeli public and Likud voters would both prefer former interior minister Gideon Sa’ar over other possible Likud candidates to replace Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister whenever he ends his political career, a Panels Research poll found this week.
Among the general public, Sa’ar received more than twice as much support as Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan and four times as much as Transportation Minister Israel Katz.
Likud supporters gave Sa’ar twice as much support as Erdan and three times as much as Katz and Ya’alon. The only choice that surpassed Sa’ar among both groups was “none of the above.”
Sa’ar, who teaches at the Institute for National Security Studies and will be speaking at The Jerusalem Post Conference, made news last week when he sharply criticized the government’s handling of the current wave of violence. He said the government was not giving security forces clear goals to accomplish in order to end terrorism.
“It’s not a struggle of lone wolves or individuals but a 100-year conflict over land, and they must lose,” said Sa’ar, who was a member of multiple security cabinets. “It won’t end if the other side doesn’t realize it lost.”
Asked which current minister most excels at his job, 20 percent said Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman, 11% said Education Minister Naftali Bennett, and nine percent each said Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.
Eight percent said Katz, five percent Ya’alon, four percent Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev, three percent Social Equality Minister Gilad Erdan and two percent Erdan and Environment Minister Avi Gabay. Only one percent said Interior Minister Arye Deri, Housing Minister Yoav Galant, Science and Technology Minister Ophir Akunis and National Infrastructure Minister Yuval Steinitz.
No respondents said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, Welfare Minister Haim Katz, Immigrant Absorption Minister Ze’ev Elkin or Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel.
The poll found that 66% of Israelis oppose reducing the prison sentence of former president Moshe Katsav.
Twenty percent are in favor and 14% said they had no opinion.
The poll of 503 respondents, representing a statistical sample of the adult Israeli population, was taken for the Knesset channel. It had a 4.3 percent margin of error.