Former Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin would be elected president if it were up to the people, according to a Panels Politics poll, released Friday for the Knesset television channel. Rivlin would get 26 percent of the vote, followed by 17 percent for Nobel laureate Dan Shechtman and retired Justice Dahlia Dorner with 13 percent. At the bottom of the list are Minister Silvan Shalom (seven percent), former minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (five percent), Minister Uzi Landau (three percent) and former Knesset speaker Dalia Itzik (two percent).
The poll has some significance in light of a report, this week, that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was thinking of extending President Shim'on Peres's term for a year beyond the end of July and amending the law to allow the people to vote instead of Knesset members. Peres issued a statement opposing any extension of his term.