Poll indicates more Israelis prefer Bennett to Netanyahu as prime minister

Left: Head of the Yamina party Naftali Bennett gives a press conference at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on April 21, 2021; Right: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a press conference at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on April 21, 2021 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Left: Head of the Yamina party Naftali Bennett gives a press conference at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on April 21, 2021; Right: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a press conference at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on April 21, 2021 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A poll published by Channel 12 shows that the public currently favors former prime minister Naftali Bennett over current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The poll asks who was most suitable to be prime minister with 36% picking Bennett and 28% choosing Netanyahu. However, 31% said neither, while 5% said they did not know.

Bennett, who took a break from politics, has recently been hinting at a return.

While the poll gives a boost to Bennett, it is largely immaterial as Israelis do not vote directly for prime minister, instead they choose a party.

Bennett has yet to say who he would run with.

The poll also compared Netanyahu with several other leaders.

Both Netanyahu and National Unity party leader Benny Gantz won approval from 32% of those asked, with 33% saying neither were fit to lead.

Gantz has had a long-running lead over Netanyahu in the polls since the October 7 Hamas massacre and subsequent war in Gaza, but has seen his support drop since he pulled out of the emergency government in recent weeks.

Netanyahu, with 33%, was also ahead of Opposition Leader Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid who won the support of 28%. Thirty-four percent said neither.

However, Netanyahu’s overall job approval ratings were low, with 63% saying he was doing a bad job, while only 31% said he was doing well.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant faired better with 45% approving and 46% disapproving.

Fifty percent approved of Israel Defense Forces chief Herzi Halevi, with 39% disapproving of his performance.

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