Just under half of Israeli Arabs think the Joint List, the Knesset slate of four Arab parties, should support from the outside a minority government that is headed by Kahol Lavan party leader Benny Gantz, according to a new poll of Israeli Arab public opinion.
The results of the survey, which were reported Sunday by Army Radio, show that 49 percent of Arab-Israeli respondents favor supporting a Gantz-led minority government even if it includes Avigdor Lieberman, the head of the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party. That’s significantly higher than the 33 percent who oppose the idea. The remaining respondents said they didn’t know or refused to answer.
The poll also found that 37 percent of Israeli Arabs would support having the Joint List actually join a government led by Gantz and including Lieberman.
Gantz has a mandate that expires at the end of the day Wednesday to form a government, following inconclusive Knesset elections in September. Neither Gantz's center-left bloc nor the right-wing bloc headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have the required 61 seats to form a majority government, and one proposed option that might enable Gantz to become prime minister is the formation of a minority government supported from the outside from the Joint List. The Joint List holds 13 seats in the 120-seat Knesset.
The formation of such a minority government would also require that Yisrael Beiteinu, the right-wing party headed by Avigdor Lieberman, not vote against its formation.
In an opinion survey conducted two days before the September 17 election, 83 percent of Israeli Arabs said the Joint List should support a minority government led by Gantz. That poll question described a situation in which the government would not include Lieberman, however.
The new Army Radio poll also asked Israeli Arab respondents how they would vote if a third election were held. Only nine percent said they would change their vote; the other 91 percent said they would stick with the party for which they voted in September.
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The poll, carried out last Monday by the Statnet research institute, surveyed 272 respondents. It has a 4.9 percent margin of error.