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Poll: Jewish Home Stands to Gain, Not Lose, From New Elections

Likud has challenged Bennett to follow through on his threats to leave the government; but poll says Jewish Home stands to gain.
By Hezki Ezra
First Publish: 4/11/2014, 9:49 AM

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

In the event that Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett follows through on his threat to leave the coalition, the party may only stand to gain in new elections, according to a recent poll.

The Dialogue Institute survey, published in Friday morning's Haaretz, shows that Jewish Home would tie with Labor as the second-biggest party in the Israeli government, in the event that elections were held today. 

Likud-Beytenu would receive 37 seats - compared to 32 in a previous poll, the survey reveals. Meanwhile Jewish Home would receive 15, as opposed to 12 in the last poll. Likewise Labor would receive 15 seats, down from 16 in the last poll.

Yesh Atid would remain stable from the last poll at 14 seats, and both Shas and Meretz would drop a seat from the previous poll, from 10 to 9. United Torah Judaism would gain an extra seat, for a total of 7, Hatnua would lose two seats and have only 3, instead of 5 in the last poll, and Kadima would not pass the threshold.

All of the Arab parties would retain their previous projected number of seats: Raam-Taal - 5, Hadash - 4, and Balad - 3. 

The poll follows a dramatic threat to the coalition on Thursday night, when Bennett threatened to resign from the government if Arab citizens of Israel were released in a possible agreement to trade longtime captive Jonathan Pollard for the release of hundreds of Arab terrorists. 

"Israel has been facing a new situation in recent days, with the Palestinian appeal to the UN which flagrantly violated all the agreements with them since the Oslo Accords until today,” Bennett stated Thursday. “The emerging deal, if it includes the release of murderers with Israeli citizenship, harms Israeli sovereignty, and not only that - it is done being when the Palestinians have not cancelled their requests to join international organizations." 

"Therefore, if a proposal for release of Israeli murderers comes before the Cabinet, the Jewish Home will oppose it,” Bennett declared. “If the proposal will pass - the Jewish Home will resign from the government, which frees murderers with Israeli citizenship. Enough is enough." 

Likud officials shrugged off the challenge late Thursday night, saying that Bennett's membership in the government makes no difference. 

"We are not keeping anybody in the government by force," the officials declared. "This is a well-known method used by Bennett: to make threats when it is clear to him that they are false threats that will not come to fruition."