Netanyahu
Netanyahu צילום: שלו שלום/TPS

A large majority of Israelis disapprove of the Bennett government’s handling of the economy and foreign policy and security issues, a new poll shows, with the public roughly evenly divided on the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a new poll conducted by Midgam and published by Channel 12 Tuesday morning, just 30% of Israelis approve of the government’s handling of the economy, compared to 66% who disapprove.

The government’s ratings on foreign policy and security were only marginally better, with 38% of respondents giving the coalition positive marks, compared to 58% who disapproved of the government’s handling of foreign policy and security issues.

On the specific issue of Iran, 44% of respondents said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is not responding properly to the threats posed by the Islamic regime, compared to 29% who approve of his handling of the issue, and 27% who do not have an opinion.

Israelis were more supportive of the government’s COVID policies, with 50% of respondents approving of the government’s handling of the pandemic, compared to 46% who disapprove.

Opposition Leader and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to be the most popular candidate for the premiership, favored by 45% of respondents, followed by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid with 17%, Bennett with 9%, and Defense Minister Benny Gantz with 9%.

If new elections were held today, the poll found that the Likud would remain the largest faction in the Knesset, rising to 34 seats, the same number the party received in the previous Midgam poll, released on March 15th.

Yesh Atid rose from the previous poll to 18 seats, up one seat, while Blue and White rose from seven seats to eight, with Labor falling from seven seats to six mandates.

The two haredi factions remained stable, with Shas holding at nine seats and United Torah Judaism remaining at seven.

The Joint Arab List received six seats in the poll, compared to five for the United Arab List.

The Religious Zionist Party alliance with Otzma Yehudit and Noam gained one seat, rising from seven seats in the previous poll to eight mandates, while Yamina fell from seven seats to six.

Yisrael Beytenu tumbled from six seats to five, while the New Hope faction held steady at four seats, just above the 3.25% minimum for entering the Knesset.

The far-left Meretz party also received four seats.

The poll surveyed 509 Israeli Jew and Arabs over the internet and by phone. The margin of error is +/-4.4%.