Poll finds public wants Mandelblit ruling before election

The poll also found support for the Netanyahu government's foreign and defense policies, but widespread dissatisfaction with its ability to reduce the cost of living and socioeconomic gaps.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu listens to Avichai Mandelblit (photo credit: ABIR SULTAN/POOL/VIA REUTERS)
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu listens to Avichai Mandelblit
A majority of Israelis (54%) want Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit to decide and publicly announce his decision on whether or not to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before the April 9 election, according to the monthly Peace Index poll released on Thursday.
The poll, which is sponsored by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, found that 34% of Israelis believe Mandelblit must wait until after the elections, because announcing a decision before would constitute interference in the proper electoral process. Those declining to answer or saying they did not know were 11.6%.
When asked why Netanyahu advanced the election, which was supposed to take place in November, 39.2% said he wanted the race to take place before the attorney-general announces his decision on whether to indict him.
Some 23.8% of respondents said that a government based on a coalition of only 61 Knesset members cannot function properly, while 24.7% said both to the same extent, 4.3% said neither and 8.1% said they did not know or declined to answer.
Asked to grade the outgoing Netanyahu government’s performance on key issues, 71.6% said it did well in conducting Israel’s foreign relations, 64.2% said it did well in ensuring Israel’s security and 49.3% gave it high grades in ensuring the country’s economic stability.
But only 29.5% said it did well in strengthening trust between people and their leader, just 27.1% said the government did well in reducing socioeconomic gaps and only 19.4% said it did a good job reduced the cost of living.
Some 64% of Israelis want either a right- or center-right-wing government (73% of Jewish Israelis and 21% of Arab Israelis), while 69% of Israelis (65% of Jewish Israelis and 86% of Arab Israelis) do not want the ultra-Orthodox parties to be part of the next government.
The survey was conducted by telephone and on the Internet on January 2-3, 2019, by the Midgam Research Institute. The survey included 600 respondents, who constitute a representative national sample of the adult population of Israel aged 18 and over. The maximum measurement error for the entire sample is ±4.1%.