Poll Shows Netanyahu’s Likud Getting Stronger Despite Allegations

TEL AVIV – Yet another poll published Saturday showed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party gaining steam with an additional two seats predicted for the party if elections were held today, up two from last week’s results from the same pollsters.

The poll, commissioned on behalf of Channel 2, showed Likud winning 28 seats, down from its current 30 but up from last week’s 26.

According to Channel 10, which commissioned a separate survey last week, Likud would gain 27 seats and 26 without Netanyahu as leader. Channel 10 also said the prime minister had threatened his coalition partners that he will call early elections if anyone attempts to push him out.

Saturday’s poll showed Yair Lapid’s  Yesh Atid party winning 24 seats, up from its current 11.

The Zionist Union would drop from 24 seats to 15 while the Joint (Arab) List would fall one seat to 12. Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party would see an increase from 8 to 9 seats.

Ultra-orthodox party United Torah Judaism would gain one seat to 7 while Shas would drop to 5 from 7 seats.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu would gain two seats to 7.

Another poll last week showed Netanyahu’s Likud gaining four seats to 34.

Netanyahu is facing a series of corruption investigations. Last week, police recommended he be indicted.

Suspended Communications Ministry Director-General Shlomo Filber signed a state witness deal Tuesday in the so-called Case 4000 involving telecommunications company Bezeq. Filber, a confidant of Netanyahu’s, reportedly claims to have been ordered by the prime minister to ease regulations on Bezeq in return for the phone company’s chief shareholder Shaul Elovitch giving Netanyahu positive coverage on his news site Walla.

Case 1000 charges Netanyahu and his wife Sara with receiving illegal gifts from billionaire benefactors, including Israeli-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian businessman James Packer.

In Case 2000, Netanyahu is suspected of striking a deal with media mogul Arnon (Noni) Mozes whereby the premier would weaken the Sheldon Adelson-backed daily Israel Hayom in return for more favorable coverage in Mozes’ Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. In his defense, Netanyahu said that he specifically voted against the law that would have weakened Israel Hayom, risking his political career in 2014 and calling new elections because of it.

Case 3000 links aides to the prime minister to possible corruption involving a multi-billion-shekel deal to buy submarines from a German shipbuilder.

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