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Israels Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu listens to Avichai Mandelblit.(Photo by: ABIR SULTAN/POOL/VIA REUTERS)
Poll finds public wants Mandelblit ruling before election
By GIL HOFFMAN
01/10/2019
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.
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%.
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