A majority of Jewish Israelis believe that Israel cannot rely on the United States to ensure the security of the Jewish state during negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, according to a poll published Thursday.
A full 55 percent of Israeli Jews felt that the US cannot be relied upon to safeguard Israel’s security during the Iranian talks, with 31% saying the Americans could be trusted on the issue and 14% stating that they did not have an opinion on the matter, according to the poll, which was commissioned by Israel Radio and conducted among a representative sample of Jewish Israeli adults by the Rafi Smith Institute.
A clear majority of both self-identified right-wing and left-wing respondents said the US could’t be relied upon when it came to Iran, a result that the institute described as “significant” and displayed the public’s general feeling that the Obama administration was “not pro-Israel.”
Forty-two percent of respondents said the US government was not giving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu an “accurate and reliable picture” of the ongoing talks, 33% said they didn’t know if the US was presenting information about the talks accurately to the Israeli government, and 25% said Washington was giving a reliable picture of the discussions, the poll found.
Netanyahu’s public critiques of a potential deal with Iran, which made headlines over the weekend, were justified, according to 40% of the respondents, with another 22% saying the prime ministers response was justified but “excessive,” and 30% had “no opinion.” Only 9% said the response was “unjustified.”
Despite reported progress, the latest round of discussions between the P5+1 world powers — the US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany — and Iran, conducted over the weekend in Geneva, ended without a deal after a proposed agreement was reportedly stymied over France’s objections to its terms. The sides are to meet again on November 20. Netanyahu’s criticism of the deal has been uncharacteristically acerbic, leading to a high-profile, ongoing dispute with US Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry has also said it was Iran, not the P5+1 nations, that ultimately chose not to sign the deal in Geneva.
The six powers were considering a gradual rollback of sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy. In exchange, they demanded initial curbs on Iran’s nuclear program, including a cap on uranium enrichment to a level that cannot be turned quickly to weapons use.
Israel has strongly opposed any deal that would leave Iran with the capability to quickly construct a nuclear weapon, leading Netanyahu and other officials to publicly come out against what they saw as a flawed potential agreement.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.