Nearly half of Jewish Israelis believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the right decision in barring entry to far-Left Democratic congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar last month, according to a monthly survey conducted by the Guttman Center at the Israel Democracy Institute.
The poll, released on Tuesday, asked respondents whether they thought the decision was unwise because it will seriously damage Israel’s relations with the Democratic Party - for which most American Jews vote - or whether it was the right decision, because the congresswomen have antisemitic views and support a boycott of Israel, and their visit would have caused Israel great harm.
Jewish Israelis agreed more with the second choice, 47.3% compared with 25% for the first choice. Among Israeli Arabs, 41.1% agreed with the first choice and 12.3% with the second. The rest did not know or declined to answer.
The poll also found that the September 17 election has failed to generate as much interest among voters as the last election on April 9.
The poll found that 39% of respondents are following the September election to a lesser extent than they followed those held in April, 36% reported following both election campaigns to the same extent, while only 17% replied that they are following the upcoming election to a greater extent than the previous campaign.
Looking ahead to the formation of the next coalition, 27.3% of the general public prefers a right-wing government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 15.5% a unity government led by Netanyahu, 19.9% a unity government led by Gantz, 19% a Center-Left government headed by Gantz, 8.4% none of the above, and 9.8% did not know or declined to answer.
Among just Jews, support for a right-wing or a unity government is stronger, while among Arab respondents support for a Center-Left government led by Gantz is stronger.
The poll found that Israelis are confused about where to place Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman on the political map, with 26% putting him on the far right, 22.7% on the soft right, 20.3% in the center, 7.7% in the soft left, and 11.4% in the hard left.
Asked whether they believe Liberman’s pledge to only join a unity government based on Likud and Blue and White, 54.1% said they do not believe him, 34% said they believe him, and 11.9% said they did not know or declined to answer.
The poll of 608 people in Hebrew and 161 in Arabic representing a statistical sample of the adult Israeli population was taken from August 25 to 29. Its sample error was 3.7%± at a confidence level of 95%.