Poll: Most Israelis back strike against Iran

59% would support military action should Israel determine Teheran has nuclear weapons.

By STEPHANIE RUBENSTEIN
June 16, 2009 01:55
1 minute read.

 
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Fifty-nine percent of Israeli Jews would support a military strike against Iran should Israel determine Teheran has nuclear weapons, according to an Institute for National Security Studies survey released Monday. The poll included 616 Israeli Jewish adults aged 18 and above, interviewed during the first three weeks of May for the annual survey. Questions dealt with national security issues ranging from West Bank settlements, the Golan Heights, talks with Hamas, and a nuclear Iran. The margin of error for the poll is 3.5%. The results were released after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's policy address at Bar-Ilan University, where he stated the challenges facing the Jewish state and his outline toward creating peace. "The Iranian threat looms large before us," Netanyahu said on Sunday. "The greatest danger confronting Israel, the Middle East, the entire world and human race is the nexus between radical Islam and nuclear weapons." In response to this threat, the Israeli public is "confident in Israel's deterrence capability," according to the survey, with 80% saying their personal lives would not change if Iran were to develop nuclear weapons, 9% saying they would consider moving to a different community within Israel; 8% saying they would consider moving out of the country; and 3% stating they would leave Israel. "The Israeli public believes Israel will do whatever it can to prevent a nuclear Iran," said Yehuda Ben-Meir, a senior associate at the Institute for National Security Studies. "But if worst comes to worst, they are confident that Israel will be able to overcome this threat and holds its own." Amid the tension between the United States and Israel regarding the West Bank settlements, the Israeli public is split on whether to continue or halt construction. The poll found 42% oppose the expansion of the settlements, while 41% support continued development only if it would not "result in a confrontation with the United States." Another 17% support continued development, despite American President Barack Obama's opposition to settlement construction. On the last two issues the poll dealt with, 82% of the public oppose direct or indirect talks with Hamas, and 60% oppose any withdrawal from the Golan Heights.

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