Poll: Majority of Israelis oppose PM immunity bill
Midgam Institute survey finds 63.1% of respondents were against legislation being promoted by Netanyahu loyalists to shield a sitting PM from police investigation; almost half of Likud voters, the prime minister's party, also express opposition to the bill.
The majority of the Israeli public opposes a Likud bill proposal that seeks to shield a sitting prime minister from police investigation, according to a recent poll conducted for Yedioth Ahronoth.
When asked "are you for or against a law that would bar the police from investigating a sitting prime minister, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?" only 31.7 percent of respondents said they were in favor, while 63.1% were against it.
The poll, conducted by Mina Tzemach and Manu Geva of the Midgam Institute, also found that about half (49.9%) of the Likud Party's voters opposed the law, while 47.5% were in favor.
There was a majority against the bill among voters of other coalition parties as well, including supporters of Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon's Kulanu Party (76.2% against; 21.6% in favor), Education Minister Naftali Bennett's Bayit Yehudi Party (59% against; 36.2% in favor) and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beytenu Party (62.2% against; 37.8% against).
Voters of the two ultra-Orthodox parties in the coalition, Shas and United Torah Judaism, were the only ones to show clear support for the proposed legislation: 53.4% of Shas voters were in favor, while only 29% were against. Among UTJ voters, 65.2% were in favor, while 22.5% were against.
Voters of opposition parties showed a much clearer objection to the bill, with 83% of Zionist Union voters, 86.8% of Yesh Atid voters and 91.4% of Meretz voters saying they were against the legislation.
According to the contentious bill proposal, which has been dubbed the "French bill" as well as the "Bibi bill" after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a sitting prime minister will not be investigated by police until the end of his term in office, with the exception of suspicions of serious crimes such as murder, rape or high treason.
Netanyahu loyalists MKs David Amsalem and David Bitan are spearheading the bill. Amsalem proposed the bill several months ago, but it failed to pass the first hurdle: the Ministerial Committee on Legislation.
The legislation was criticized by opposition parties, but also by members of the coalition. Kahlon decided to allow his party members to vote as their conscience dictates, which would make it difficult for the proposal to reach the necessary majority to pass. Meanwhile, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked postponed a vote on the legislation, saying the Bayit Yehudi Party needs more time to discuss the bill.
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit also came out against the legislation proposal, dubbing it "absurd," saying it "creates a problem with equality before the law" and raising concern that "The role of prime minister, the highest in the land, will become a sanctuary for felons."
Despite the strong opposition, Amsalem and Bitan are pushing to pass the bill at the Ministerial Committee on Legislation in order to give it high priority in advancing it during the Knesset's winter session.