January 27, 2023

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Poll Shows Israelis Worried about Democracy over Hardline Coalition

3 min read

On Friday, a poll showed that about 6 out of 10 people in Israel were worried about the future of democracy in the country.

This comes as Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister-designate, is moving closer to forming his coalition for the next government that would comprise of ultra-Orthodox and far-right parties.

The survey

A survey was recently conducted by Channel 12, which showed that 61% respondents are very concerned about the future of democracy in the country, while 35% remained unconcerned.

It discovered that 41% of the respondents were had voted for parties that were part of the right-wing religious bloc headed by Netanyahu and these people were concerned about democracy.

There were also 82% of the respondents who had not voted for the parties part of Netanyahu’s bloc and had the same concerns.

Respondents were also questioned if the party led by Benny Gantz, who is the outgoing Defense Minister, should also be part of the new government of Netanyahu, as opposed to the far-right Otzma Yehudit parties, as well as Noam and Religious Zionism.

39% of the survey respondents said that they wanted to see the National Unity party in the new government, while 46% people were against it.

As for voters part of the anti-Netanyahu bloc, 63% said that they wanted Gantz to enter the coalition led by the Likud party.

Gantz refuses

However, Benny Gantz was also questioned about it in an interview on Friday evening and he turned it down, saying that he does not believe anything that Netanyahu has to say.

Back in 2020, Gantz had formed a unity coalition with Netanyahu that had only lasted for a year because the latter had blocked the former from becoming the prime minister as part of the rotation agreement between the two.

On Friday, Gantz also said that Netanyahu had allowed the IDF to be dismantled via the numerous coalition deals that he had signed recently.

The new deals would give greater powers to far-right ministers as compared to the security forces that currently oversee the West Bank.

Gantz also warned that if Netanyahu does not control the extremist parties that he is partnering up with, then he would end up tearing Israel apart.

Coalition deals

In recent weeks, Benjamin Netanyahu has signed coalition deals with the far-right Noam, Religious Zionism and Otzma Yehudit parties.

In the coming days, he is also expected to finalize deals with the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism and the Shas parties.

His deal with Otzma Yehudit involves giving Itamar Ben Gvir the position of the national security minister, who would oversee the police and the division of the Border Police in the West Bank.

As for the deal signed with Religious Zionism, party head Bezalel Smotrich will take the position of finance minister and would also have control of some Defense Ministry bodies.

Smotrich wants to dismantle the Palestinian Authority and annex some parts of the West Bank without giving Palestinians in the areas equal rights.

He has also talked of passing legislation for canceling the breach of trust and fraud charges against Netanyahu.

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