Poll: 74% of Israelis say deal won't stop nuclear Iran

Herzog backing PM sparks coalition speculation

Netanyahu reaffirms the right to self-defence after Iran nuclear deal
The first poll taken in Israel following the Iranian nuclear deal found that 74 percent of Israelis do not believe it will prevent the Islamic Republic from obtaining nuclear weapons, 10% think it will and 16% do not know, according to the survey taken Wednesday by the Sarid Institute for Channel 10.
The poll, of a statistical sample of Israelis, found that 69% are against the deal, 10% are in favor and 21% do not know. One-third of respondents said Israel should attack Iran in the wake of the deal, 40% said they were against an Israeli strike and 28% do not know.
Channel 10 did not provide the sample size or margin of error.
Asked whether Israel should lobby Congress against the deal, 59% said yes, 23% no, and 18% do not know.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid have all said they intended to speak to congressmen to try persuade them to vote against the deal.
Regarding whether Netanyahu’s approach to preventing a nuclear Iran has been correct, 37% said he had made mistakes, 34% said his approach has been right and 29% said they did not know.
Herzog and Lapid have taken opposite strategies on whether to blame Netanyahu for the failure to prevent a nuclear deal with Iran.
While Lapid has attacked him vigorously, Herzog emerged from a meeting with the prime minister late Tuesday committed to working together with him in an effort to stop the deal from being implemented.
That behavior from Herzog led to speculation that the Zionist Union could be on the way to the coalition.
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Meretz leader Zehava Gal- On said she was sure Herzog would enter the government soon, using Iran as an excuse.
Both Labor and Likud officials said there was no truth to reports that a unity government was in the works.
But Netanyahu increased speculation about that possibility in the Knesset plenum Wednesday when he repeatedly referred to the need for the opposition and coalition to work together in opposing the Iran deal.
He called for unity between “the students of Ben-Gurion and the students of Jabotinsky,” saying “the people expect it.”
Herzog said in his speech at the Knesset that national security is not a matter of opposition and coalition.
“When it comes to Israel’s security, I and the camp behind me will stand for Israel’s defense with all our might, despite our disputes about the prime minister’s decisions and behavior,” he said.
“We have to deal with the results of the agreement as a national and security challenge that we all share in the short term and in the future,” he said, but then, deflating the hopes of anyone who wanted a national unity government, added: “We can do that from the opposition too.”
Herzog continued his speech with criticism of the coalition, saying that Jabotinsky – the Likud ideological forebear and the topic of the plenum session in which he spoke – would not approve of “inappropriate, condescending comments said publicly against other population groups, including by members of this House and his own party.”
“I suspect that if Jabotinsky were alive today, he would find himself fighting [Likud MKs] bitterly over the spirit of a Jewish and democratic state, as he saw in his vision,” the opposition leader added.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein focused on Iran and less on the political situation in his remarks, saying that the agreement between the world powers and Tehran “is a dangerous illusion, not only for Israel, but for world peace.”
“Ten years ago, many warned that the expulsion from Gush Katif [in Gaza] will not bring quiet, but missiles shot at Israel,” he said.
“Today, we must warn that the agreement signed yesterday with Iran will not bring quiet, but missiles shot at Israel... I am still full of hope that this time we are mistaken.”
Meanwhile, Channel 2 reported that Lapid had hired an American branding expert, Adam Hanft, to help craft the Yesh Atid leader’s image as a future prime minister.
Hanft worked for US President Barack Obama’s successful campaign in 2008.