March 8, 2012
A new poll conducted by a major Israeli paper shows that more than half of Israelis believe that if the United States does not plan to attack Iran over its nuclear energy program, Tel Aviv must not engage in such a war on its own.
The poll, conducted by the Israeli daily Haaretz in cooperation with the Tel Aviv University on Sunday and Monday, showed that 58 percent of the respondents were against a military strike by Israel on Iran if Washington is not willing to accompany Tel Aviv.
The poll was conducted during the recent visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington.
The results, Haaretz said, clearly prove that Netanyahu’s government has largely failed in convincing the Israelis about the necessity of a military attack on Iran’s nuclear sites.
A similar poll was conducted in Israel last month ahead of Netanyahu’s Washington visit, which also showed that only a small percentage of Israelis supported a strike on Iran without US backing.
The former poll, conducted by the University of Maryland and the Dahaf Institute on Feb. 22-26, surveyed 500 Israelis for their opinion on a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities and its possible efficacy.
Asked whether such a strike must be carried out at all, only 19 percent of Israelis favored a strike even in the face of US opposition. Thirty-four percent opposed a strike in any circumstances and 42 percent said they would back a strike on Iran only if it had at least the support of the United States.
About thirty percent of the respondents believed a strike would either have no effect on the Iranian nuclear energy program or would in fact accelerate it.
This comes as US President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that Washington will continue to explore diplomatic options to address Iran’s nuclear energy program, trying to distance himself from the excessive warmongering rhetoric against the Islamic Republic.
At a White House news conference on Tuesday, Obama said, “We have a window through which we can resolve this issue peacefully. We have put forward an international framework that is applying unprecedented pressure. The Iranians just stated that they are willing to return to the negotiating table. And we’ve got the opportunity, even as we maintain that pressure, to see how it plays out.”
The United States, Israel, and some of their allies accuse Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Tehran refutes the Western allegations, stating that as a member of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), it has every right to the peaceful uses of the nuclear energy.