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Excellent Prime Minister or a 'Crook'? Attitudes of Israeli Tweeps Towards Naftali Bennett Divided

© REUTERS / POOLIsraeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks during a memorial ceremony for soldiers who fell in the 2014 war with Gaza, at the Hall of Remembrance of Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem June 20, 2021
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks during a memorial ceremony for soldiers who fell in the 2014 war with Gaza, at the Hall of Remembrance of Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem June 20, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.07.2021
A recent poll has revealed that 49 percent of Israelis approve of Bennett's management of the coronavirus crisis. But on Twitter people are split over whether his rule is actually legitimate.
It's been a month and a half since Naftali Bennett took office as prime minister in Israel but a recent poll has revealed that it has been enough for his actions to win praise from the public.

Excellent Prime Minister?

According to Channel 12, 49 percent of Israelis who took part in the poll believed that the PM and the government he is heading have been managing the coronavirus pandemic well. 38 percent asserted they are dissatisfied with the way the crisis has been handled. 13 percent were unable to provide a definite response.
The same survey also found that Bennett's Yamina party has been climbing in polls. While in the last round of Israel's general elections, they obtained only six out of 120 seats at the Knesset, today, they already stand at eight, and their influence is only expected to grow.
Their growing clout is already felt on social media platforms: Bennett's supporters actively comment on the actions of the PM, praising him and his government for the steps he has taken to curb the spread of COVID-19.
"Bennett is a great prime minister. It's time we have one," wrote one Twitter user in reference to the PM's speech, where he called on the public to get vaccinated or face the consequences.
"A real government of change. They came here to work... keep it up", another Twitterian wrote.
"Very happy with PM Bennett. Israel now has an excellent premier!"
"Bennett represents me. He is my prime minister, whether you like it or not," said another tweep.

Not My Prime Minister

However, many think otherwise. Recently, another poll revealed that only 14 percent of those surveyed felt that Bennett was fit for the position of prime minister. 24 percent held similar views about his coalition partner Yair Lapid, while the vast majority -- 40 percent -- still support Netanyahu.
That attitude is well reflected on social media platforms, where tweeps have been venting anger at the PM and the government he is heading.
"Bennett, realise it already, you are not meant to be a prime minister, enough!"
"Bennett is not a prime minister, he is a crook".
For opponents, the top role that Bennett assumed in mid-June is illegal. Even before his government was sworn in, many Yamina voters said they were disappointed with his party. Only 35 percent stated they would consider voting for it again.
Many could never accept that a party leader with only six seats in parliament could be entrusted with the role of prime minister. Others could not forgive him for the zigzags he has been taking.
Known for his hawkish views on the issue of the Palestinians and Israel's settlement activity in the West Bank, Bennett has said on multiple occasions that he would not form a coalition with the liberal Yair Lapid.
He has also pledged that his coalition will never rely on the support of Arab parties. But at the beginning of June he broke those promises, agreeing to a rotation with the head of the Yesh Atid party.
"You have been lying to your voters, only to get into the prime minister's seat. You forged a coalition only to oust [former PM Benjamin] Netanyahu. You created a government that relies on terrorist supporters. COVID-19 is back and you are doing nothing. All you care about is your own PR"
Another tweep wrote: "Bennett said and signed [a declaration promising not to sit down with Lapid - ed.]. He took the votes. Stole them. Used them to create a government that was not supported by the people. Betrayed his voters..."
And now, they are scrutinising his every move, counting his mistakes and hoping that the current government falls apart, providing an opportunity for Netanyahu to make a comeback.
"Mr. Netanyahu, come back. The nationalistic Arab government disguised as the government of change is destroying each one of your achievements. Putin has turned his back on us [allegedly working with the Syrian government to prevent Israeli strikes - ed.], the coronavirus is raging, and the exploding busses [like it was during the Second Intifada - ed.] are just around the corner"
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