Poll: 58% of Israelis Don't Believe Netanyahu's Justification for Thwarting Early Elections

Netanyahu declared early elections were a bad idea because Israel is going through a critical period where security concerns should trump political considerations

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018.
Ariel Schalit,AP

A majority of Israelis believe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's move to thwart early elections was motivated by political considerations, in contrast to his claim that he acted out of security concerns, a poll published Tuesday showed.

Fifty-eight percent of the public believed Netanyahu acted out of political consideration, the poll published by Army Radio showed.

"We are in a particularly complex security situation," Netanyahu said in a televised statement on Sunday, amid attempts to stabilize his governing coalition following the resignation of Avigdor Lieberman from the post of defense chief.

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"In times like these, you do not overthrow a government. It's irresponsible... We are in an intensifying battle, and in the middle of a battle we don't abandon our posts. In the middle of a battle we do not play politics. The security of the nation is beyond politics," Netanyahu added.

According to the poll, 31 percent of respondents believe Netanyahu's claim that Israel is currently at one of its most complex security periods stemmed from true concern to the security situation, and 11 percent said they don't know.

In addition, 46 percent said that the recent political developments justify calling early elections, while 40 percent said they do not.

As for Netanyahu's decision to assume the role of defense minister following Lieberman's resignation, 52 percent said they don't expect a change in Israel's policy on Gaza, while 19 percent believe Netanyahu would do a better job than Lieberman. Sixteen percent said they believe the security situation will worsen.