A majority of Israelis would like to see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu form a wide coalition of parties from the right and center-left, but not with the ultra-Orthodox, according to a poll published Monday.
The survey, conducted by Professor Yitzhak Katz of the Maagar Mochot research institute for Channel 10 news, found 51 percent of the public wants a government that includes Likud-Beytenu, Yesh Atid, Jewish Home, Hatnua, and Kadima, but not Shas or United Torah Judaism.
Some 76% of respondents don’t want new elections; 35% of those asked said they’d prefer that the ultra-Orthodox parties are in the coalition rather than Yesh Atid.
Forty-four percent of respondents said they’d like the party they voted for to compromise on its principles, provided that it enters the coalition, while 33% said they prefer that the party they chose maintain its principles – even if it means sitting in the opposition – while 23% answered that they want the party they voted for to both maintain its principles and join the coalition.
The data comes as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is struggling, for the fourth consecutive week, to build a majority government. His task has been complicated by a decision by Jewish Home and Yesh Atid to jointly stay out of the coalition unless Netanyahu commits to reforms enabling the conscription of most ultra-Orthodox young males – legislation that is anathema to Netanyahu’s potential ultra-Orthodox coalition partners.
“Without this coordination [with Yesh Atid], the government would consist of Likud-Beytenu, Hatnua, Kadima, Shas, and Yesh Atid – without the religious Zionist movement, without the Jewish Home,” Bennett wrote on his Facebook page Sunday. “This government’s racing along [Hatnua head Tzipi] Livni’s political line – giving up on Jerusalem, giving up on [the West Bank city of] Ariel, and being obsessed with the PLO. That’s a fact.”
Likud-Beytenu No. 2 Avigdor Liberman has reportedly been pushing for Jewish Home and Yesh Atid to be given preference for entering the coalition before Shas and UTJ, Ynet reported Monday.
Last week, Livni inked a deal for her six seat Hatnua party to join the government, the only party to do so thus far.
Katz polled 500 individuals for his research, with a margin of error of 4%.
Netanyahu has until this weekend to form a coalition, but he can then seek a 14-day extension from President Shimon Peres.