Opposition decries gov't anarchy; trust in PM peaks

New poll puts public trust in the prime minister at a 10-year high of 56%; Mofaz: This anarchy needs to stop.

Netanyahu at cabinet meeting 370 (photo credit: Pool/Eli Selman)
Netanyahu at cabinet meeting 370
(photo credit: Pool/Eli Selman)
The Prime Minister’s Office on Thursday touted findings from the Israel Democratic Institute showing that the public’s trust in the prime minister is the highest it has been in at least 10 years.
However, the findings come amid claims by the political opposition that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s dramatic decision to adjourn the security cabinet on Wednesday because of leaks is a sign of governmental anarchy.
The Israel Democracy Institute’s annual Israeli Democracy Index released this week found that 56 percent of the public have confidence in the prime ministership.
This is the highest percentage since the in-depth surveys of local attitudes on democracy, government systems and elected officials were started in 2003.
The previous highest percentage was in 2003, when Ariel Sharon was prime minister and nearly 53% said they had confidence in the prime minister. The lowest period was in 2008, under Ehud Olmert’s tenure, when this number stood at only 17%.
The numbers, however, are dramatically different in the Jewish and Arab sectors, with 61.5% of the Jews saying they have trust in the prime minister, as opposed to only 32% of the Arab population.
The poll, carried out by Tel Aviv University’s Cohen Institute for Public Opinion, was taken between April 16 and May 17 among a representative national sample of 1,025 Israeli adults (834 Jews and 191 Arabs). It has a 3.1% margin of error.
Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev said international audiences should take note of the overall findings, “and that when the prime minister speaks it appears he has the unprecedented confidence of the people.”
The Prime Minister’s Office continued, however, to have no comment on Wednesday’s sudden adjournment of a security cabinet meeting on Iran because some details of the first part of that meeting that took place the day before were leaked to the press. Nor would the office say whether Netanyahu had made a decision to initiate polygraph tests for those who attended the meeting to try and track down the person who leaked the information.
Kadima head Shaul Mofaz came out Thursday in support of a Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) investigation of the security leaks, but said “the prime minister should be the first investigated” and should be asked whether he briefed journalists about classified military or diplomatic moves over the last few weeks.
“This is a government that is not only leading an unruly policy on all fronts, but is also managed in an unruly manner,” he said.
Mofaz said that leaks from the security cabinet, which he described as the government’s inner sanctum where the most classified information is discussed, was nothing but anarchy.
“This anarchy needs to stop,” he declared.