Israelis sceptical about unilateral strike on Iran

By Jennifer Lipman, August 16, 2012
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Nearly two thirds of Israelis are against their government taking unilateral action against Iran and more than half are not convinced that it will do so.

According to a poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute, 61 per cent of Israelis Jews do not back a strike on Iran conducted without US support.

Nearly as many also consider the rhetoric used by Israeli politicians, including the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister, to be a tactic to convince the Americans to act.

A little more than one in five Israelis have faith that the country can rely on the US for support in a strike on Iran, as pledged by US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, although the majority do not believe his promises.

But far more of those polled suggested they believed Mitt Romney was committed to Israel's interests than the current president, Barack Obama.

Reflecting the uncertainty Israelis feel about Iran's nuclear ambitions, other polls have shown that support for action is growing, although not necessarily for a unilateral strike on Tehran.

According to a survey conducted by the Dialog Institute, approval of a strike on Iran has actually increased since March, when 58 per cent of Israelis registered the fact that they were against this. The most recent figures show this figure to have fallen to less than half of those questioned.

Last updated: 10:38am, August 16 2012