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Poll: Bennett Bested Netanyahu in Tiff

In the recent showdown between Binyamin Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett, Economics Minister bested the Prime Minister, a poll Monday showed.
By David Lev
First Publish: 2/3/2014, 10:30 PM

Naftali Bennett and Binyamin Netanyahu
Naftali Bennett and Binyamin Netanyahu
Flash 90

In the recent showdown between Binyamin Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett, Economics Minister bested the Prime Minister, a poll Monday showed. According to the poll by the Knesset channel, 37% of Israelis believe Bennet's claim that Netanyahu and the government were seriously considering allowing tens of thousands of Jews to remain under Palestinian rule in the event that the government gave away parts of the Land of Israel. Only 24% believe sources close to Netanyahu, who said that the suggestion was just a tactic to show up the Palestinian leadership as racist and anti-Semitic.

The tiff between the two evolved last week, after Netanyahu made the suggestion that Jews could remain in their homes under Palestinian rule, if the PA leadership were serious about making peace with Israel. Bennett responded sharply, saying that the idea was anti-Zionist and unthinkable. In response, Netanyahu demanded the Bennett apologize for “calling his love for the Land of Israel into question,” threatening to fire him if he did not. The crisis was resolved when Bennett backed down and issued an apology.

When asked who was right, 34% of those polled said Bennett, while 33% chose Netanyahu. Only 7% said that neither “won.” Among members of the Jewish Home party, 77% said the Bennett was right.

Three quarters of Jewish Home members and 30% of all voters said that Bennett was a good leader, while 3% and 37% respectively game him poor marks. Out of all Jewish Home voters, 80% said that they were happy with their choice in the elections, with only 7% regretting voting for the party. Among those voters, 55% said they chose the party because of its stance on politics and allowing open Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria, while 35% chose the party for its religious orientation.

Among voters, 24% said that Bennett best represented their views, while 17% chose MK Uri Orbach. MK Ayelet Shaked was preferred by 15% of Jewish Home voters, 4% chose Housing Minister Uri Ariel, and 2% preferred MK Nissan Smoliansky.

If elections were held today, the poll said, Likud-Beteinu would receive 30 seats, Labor 19, Jewish Home 16, Yesh Atid 13, Meretz 11, Shas 9, UTJ 6, Hatnu'a 5, Hadash 6, Balad 4, and Ra'am-Ta'al 3.