Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
A bill that would grant Knesset members automatic immunity from prosecution is opposed by 62% of the public and two thirds of people who define themselves as moderate Right, according to a poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute.
The bill is opposed by 40.3% of those who define themselves as right-wing, 66.7% who call themselves moderate Right, 85.4% of centrists, 88.4% of those on the moderate Left and 89.6% of left-wingers.
Among those who voted for Likud in the last election, 35.9% support the bill, 35.2% oppose it and 28.9% did not know or declined to answer. The bill has the strongest support among Shas voters and the least backing among voters of Labor and Meretz.
The poll asked respondents whether the bill should be applied only to new cases or also to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, even though a draft of an indictment, pending a hearing, has already been served against him.
Among Likud votes, 47.2% believe he should be allowed to receive immunity due to the bill, 26.1% believe it should apply only to new cases and 26.7% declined to answer or said they did not know.
In the general public, 47.4% believe it should be applied only to new cases, 29.5% think it should apply to Netanyahu and 23.1% did not know or declined to answer.
Applying the bill to Netanyahu is opposed by 31% of right-wingers, 49% of those who define themselves as moderate Right, 61.6% of centrists, 79.6% of the moderate Left and 82.7% of self-proclaimed leftists.
The public is divided over the question as to whether or not legislation is necessary to strengthen the Knesset at the expense of the courts – 41% agree that the Knesset should be strengthened at the expense of the courts (61% of right-wing, 23% of center and 10% of left-wing) and 39% oppose weakening the courts.
The survey was conducted on May 21 among 604 men and women interviewed in Hebrew and 101 in Arabic, constituting a representative national sample of the entire adult population of Israel aged 18 and older. The maximum sampling error for the entire sample was 3.7%± at a confidence level of 95%. The fieldwork was conducted by the Rafi Smith Institute.