Naftali Bennett, not Netanyahu is the leader of Israel’s Right, poll finds
39 percent of respondents said the Bayit Yehudi leader best represents views
of the Right versus 28 percent who selected Netanyahu.
By GIL HOFFMAN The Jerusalem Post 02/09/2014 13:47
The leader of the Israeli Right is not Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu but
Bayit Yehudi head Naftali Bennett, according to a Panels Politics poll taken
Monday for the Knesset Channel.
The poll asked who best represents the views of the Right, giving Netanyahu,
Bennett and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman as choices.
Thirty-nine percent said Bennett, 28% said Netanyahu, and 20% Liberman.
“Bayit Yehudi has finished in second place in 11 of the last 12 polls
conducted over the last two months,” said Bayit Yehudi official Jeremy
Saltan, who analyzes polls on his website KnessetJeremy.com. “Bennett
finished second to the prime minister in many polls who asked who is most
fit to be prime minister. He has the most internal support of all democratic
(primary) party leaders. The discussion today should be on Bennett and
Bayit Yehudi. It is time we crown Bennett the new leader of the right.”
The poll found that there is confusion regarding Liberman’s views. When
asked about his campaign slogan that “his word is his bond,” 46% said it was
not true and only 31% said it was correct.
Asked to place Liberman on the political map, 50% said he was Right of
Likud, 30% as right-wing and two percent as left-wing. Asked about his
diplomatic plan, 32% guessed that he would not relinquish any land, 29% said
correctly that he favors an exchange of populations and territories, five
percent said he wanted two states for two peoples, and four percent
predicted that he would support returning to pre-1967 borders, including in
The poll found that if elections were held now, Likud would win 26 seats,
Bayit Yehudi 19, Labor 18, Yesh Atid and Meretz 10, and Yisrael Beytenu
eight. A Jerusalem Post poll published Friday gave Yisrael Beytenu 17 seats.
The Panels’ poll predicted United Torah Judaism would win eight seats, Shas
seven, Hatnua and Balad four, and Hadash and the United Arab List three.
Kadima did not pass the electoral threshold in the poll and former welfare
minister Moshe Kahlon’s party-in-the-making was not included.
A Yisrael Beytenu party official said in response: “I think the party, its
image and platform have suffered during the last almost two years because of
its partnership with Likud. It created confusion in the minds of some voters
about what we stood for and allowed other newer parties to come and poach
our traditional standpoints on a host of issues. However, now that we have
returned to being a faction in our own right I think it will become clearer
again what the party stands for and carry on being the party which sets a
large part of the national agenda as we did with our long-standing policies,
including, service for all, government and political reform and loyalty to
one’s state and society. As was achieved in every election where we have run
independently, we are confident that Yisrael Beytenu will continue to grow
and gain more support.”
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