(February 16, 2018 / JNS) A poll released by Israel’s Maariv newspaper Friday indicated that the recent recommendations of Israel police to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on charges of corruption would not have a serious effect on the Likud party or the coalition.
If new elections were held today, the Likud and five other coalition parties would garner a combined 65 seats, according to the new Rafi Smith poll—just one less than they currently hold.
While Netanyahu’s Likud party would continue to be the largest party in the Knesset, former Finance Minister Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid party—a member of the opposition and a vocal critic of the prime minister, who has been pegged as a prime witness in one of two corruption charges—would see his party claim 22 seats, doubling its current 11.
Coalition partner Jewish Home party, headed by Minister of Education and Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett, would also rise by three seats to 11.
The Arab Joint List would fall a single seat, while Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog’s Zionist Union party would plummet to 15 seats, down from 24.
Earlier in the week, investigators announced they believed they had sufficient evidence to convict Netanyahu in two separate cases: one involving the acceptance of gifts from wealthy businessmen and the other conspiracy with a newspaper publisher.
Netanyahu has denied all allegations and has said he will continue to serve in the top job.