A large percentage of Israel citizens believe Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should not have interfered in the selection committee of the Israel Prize, a survey published Sunday finds.
The survey, conducted under the supervision of Professor Kamil Fuchs, found that 40 percent of respondents believe Netanyahu should not have gotten involved in choosing the panel of judges.
On the reverse, 22 percent said it was Netanyahu's role and responsibility to intervene, as he is currently serving as the Minister of Education.
38% of respondents answered that they "did not know" if they were for or against the Prime Minister's actions.
Last week, Netanyahu made the decision to disqualify two leftist judges, notable literature professors, Ariel Hirschfeld and Avner Holtzman, from the Israel Prize's Literature Committee.
The dismissal of the two resulted in great backlash, and many other judges and candidates for the prize withdrew their association with the prestigious award.
Netanyahu then backtracked on the decision Friday after Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein advised the Prime Minister against his interfering in the procedures related to the Israel Prize during an election period.
The survey also examined other election issues such as who is the more appropriate candidate to fill the role of prime minister and who is more likely to form the next government.
42% of respondents believe Netanyahu is the better choice for Israel's leader, as opposed to the 35% who chose Labor head Yitzhak Herzog.
That gap widens when respondents were asked to name who they believe will form the next government. 58% responded that the incumbent, Netanyahu, will do it, while only 19% think Herzog should get a crack at the job.
Additionally, an overwhelming majority of the public – 68 percent – believe that Netanyahu should participate in a televised debate with his opponents ahead of elections on March 17.
The Prime Minister announced last week that he will consider such a debate once he returns from the United States after his March 3 speech before Congress.