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Poll: Majority of Israelis Prefer Coalition without Hareidim

An overwhelming majority of Israelis would like to see the hareidi-religious parties being kept out of the coalition, new poll shows.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 3/1/2013, 3:15 AM

United Torah Judaism members
United Torah Judaism members
Hezki Ezra

An overwhelming majority of Israeli citizens would like to see the hareidi-religious parties being kept out of the coalition, according to a Channel 10 News poll conducted by Professor Camil Fuchs and published Thursday.

The poll found that 76% percent of the Israeli public support a coalition made ​​up of the Likud, Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi. A poll published earlier this week found that 51% of Israelis would prefer to see a coalition without the hareidi parties.

Thursday’s poll found that only four percent of Israelis want a new government that would include the Likud together with the hareidi parties and Bayit Yehudi. Eleven percent would prefer to see the Labor party in the coalition along with the hareidi parties.

Earlier on Thursday, MK Zeev Elkin (Likud) said that a strong nationalist government must include hareidi-religious parties, warning Bayit Yehudi chairman MK Naftali Bennett not to disqualify the hareidim.

“The last time they tried to make a right-wing government without the hareidi parties, and to split the nationalist camp, it ended in the Disengagement,” he warned. “We must not repeat past mistakes.”

The Bayit Yehudi party has been perceived as a difficult coalition partner regarding hareidi parties due to its alliance with Yesh Atid, which insists on implementing a program that would see yeshiva students being enlisted into the army and has outright rejected hareidim.

Reports on Wednesday indicated that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had told the hareidi parties that they will not be a part of the initial coalition and will only be able to enter the government during "stage two," after the formal announcement of the new government. The hareidi parties reportedly "rejected" this statement.

However, the Likud Beytenu’s negotiating team rejected the reports that on Thursday, saying, “In contrast to reports published over the past day according to which the Prime Minister is planning to create a narrow government, the negotiating team will continue its efforts to create a broad-based government.”

The coalition Netanyahu hopes to see “will include both the hareidi parties and the Jewish Home, and hopefully Yesh Atid and Kadima as well,” they stated.

Meanwhile on Thursday, MK Aryeh Deri (Shas) said that Yesh Atid’s concern for sharing in the burden “is based only on hatred of the other. Now that Yesh Atid has been forced to reveal its real intention, the public can judge whether a dialogue based on the rejection of the other deserves to be held in our country or not.”