Majority of Israelis oppose strike on Iran

Forty-six percent say that Israel should not attack Tehran’s nuclear plants; support for prime minister drops to 34% from 46% three months ago

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (photo credit: Haim Zach/Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (photo credit: Haim Zach/Flash90)

The majority of Israelis oppose a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities in order to halt its nuclear drive, Channel 10 reported on Sunday.

A poll conducted by the Dialogue Institute under the supervision of Dr. Kamil Fuchs found that 46 percent of respondents said that Israel should not attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, 32% advocated an Israeli strike, and 22% offered no opinion.

The survey results were published amid heightened debate among senior policy officials about the necessity of a military strike to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have made increasingly vociferous statements about the urgent imperative to stop Iran.

The poll also showed that Israeli support for Netanyahu has waned in the past three months. According to the poll, only 34% expressed satisfaction with the prime minister, as opposed to 58% who said that they are dissatisfied. The remainder had no opinion. A similar survey conducted in May found that 46% were satisfied with the prime minister’s performance.

The same survey found Israelis prefer Mitt Romney to Barack Obama as the next US president, by 34% to 31%.

Channel 10 attributed the prime minister’s reduced support to the public’s perception that he has failed to stand up against the ultra-Orthodox regarding a universal military draft, which many secular Israelis as well as those in the national-religious camp strongly support.

On Sunday evening, some 200 people gathered outside the home of Defense Minister Ehud Barak to protest a possible strike against Iran. The protest was organized by award-winning Israeli filmmaker Doron Tzabari. A press release publicizing the rally was sent out on Sunday afternoon by Tel Aviv city councilwoman Tamar Zandberg.

One of the protesters held aloft a sign depicting Barak wearing a Nazi uniform, Ynet reported. Fellow protesters forced him to take down the sign immediately, shouting “There will be no swastikas here!”

The man was subsequently detained by police and removed from the rally.

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