Majority of Israelis believe Netanyahu speech won't stop Iran, Zionist Union poll finds

57% percent of those surveyed believe PM's speech will warm US-Israel relations, according to poll sponsored by Netanyahu's opponents.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
March 3, 2015 12:03
1 minute read.
Binyamin Netanyahu

Netanyahu warns against nuclear Iran at 2012 UN General Assembly. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Only 28 percent of Israelis believe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress Tuesday will help the effort to prevent a nuclear Iran, according to a Midgam poll sponsored by the Zionist Union party.

The poll initiated by Netanyahu's opponents in the March 17 election found that 60% believe the speech will have no impact on the anti-nuclearization effort and 12% did not know.

Fifty-seven percent believe the speech would warm Israel's relations with the United States, according to the poll of 600 Jewish Israelis representing a statistical sample of the adult Jewish population.

Netanyahu will escalate his campaign against US President Barack Obama's Iran diplomacy on Tuesday in a speech to Congress whose staging has put unprecedented stress on the two leaders' already strained ties.

Although cold-shouldered by the administration, Netanyahu has offered an olive branch, saying he meant no disrespect to Obama by accepting an invitation to address US lawmakers that was orchestrated by the president's rival Republicans.

As many as one-fifth of Democratic members plan to sit out the speech to protest what they see as a politicization of Israeli security, an issue on which Congress usually unites.


The White House is wary of Netanyahu using the forum to lay bare the closed-door negotiations designed to curb Iran's nuclear drive.

Obama on Monday appeared to wave off any prospect the bedrock US alliance with Israel might be ruined by the rancor.

Netanyahu, who has played up his security credentials ahead of a closely contested March 17 election in Israel, has denied his speech would have any design other than national survival.

He did not elaborate on the speech's content. One aide said Netanyahu would inform US lawmakers of details on the nuclear talks in hope they would question the administration and thus defer a March-end target date for a framework deal with Iran.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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