Finance Minister Yair Lapid is the year’s most disappointing Israeli politician, according to a poll published Wednesday, on the eve of the Jewish New Year.
According to the poll, conducted by Maagar Mohot for the Maariv daily newspaper, no less than 63% of the Israeli public believe that Lapid is the most disappointing of the past year. The question was an open-ended one, and, according to the newspaper, “the public immediately threw out [Lapid’s] name, almost without hesitation.”
If this was not enough, the poll also found that 80% percent of the Israeli public believe that the present government is not properly handling the cost of living and housing, two key issues in Lapid’s election platform.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu came in second in terms of the public’s satisfaction with his performance, but was way behind Lapid, with 15% of respondents disappointed in him. Economy Minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) came in third with 8%. Opposition leader Shelly Yechimovich (Labor) was the fourth most disappointing with 6%.
Lapid was seen as one of the promising new politicians in the past election, and his Yesh Atid party won 19 seats - an unprecedented number for a party running for the first time and which is made up of all new politicians - becoming the Knesset’s second largest party.
Lapid promised economic reform which would improve Israel’s middle class and would “fight for the working man,” as he put it.
Since being appointed Finance Minister he has suffered a decline in popularity, particularly over the state budget for 2013-2014, which includes tough austerity measures affecting mostly the same middle class which Lapid promised to protect. His absences from key votes in the Knesset and his putting down of critics have contributed to the public's dislike of him.
A poll released last month found that over three quarters of Israelis do not trust Lapid to lead Israel's economy to prosperity and success.
The poll, taken by the Knesset Channel, found that 78% did not believe Lapid was doing a good job managing the Israeli economy, while 82% said that Lapid would not make a good Prime Minister.
Only 20% of Israelis believed that Lapid had what it takes to lead the country economically, while just 12% said he would make a good political leader, the poll showed.
When asked if Lapid had kept the promises he made during the election campaign, 54% said that he did not. As well, 43% of those who identified themselves as Yesh Atid voters said that they would not vote for the party again. If elections were held today, Yesh Atid would get only 13 Knesset seats, compared to its current 19.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Rosh Hashanah in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)