Although 49 percent of the Israeli public believes that Israel must wait and see whether American policy succeeds regarding Iran, 74 percent of the public does not believe that the policy of dialogue will succeed, according to a new poll conducted by the Center for Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University on the evening its two-day research conference this week.
According to the poll, the Israeli public is divided on the question of whether Israel should attack or not. The poll says Israelis of 42 years of age and over are significantly more concerned about the Iranian bomb than their younger counterparts.
Eighty-nine percent of those 42 and over are concerned, compared with 61 percent of the young people.
There is a similar gap between the age groups regarding possible emigration from Israel if Iran should develop a nuclear bomb (89 percent and 64 percent, respectively, will consider emigrating). The secular population of the Israeli much more concerned than the religious population: 88 percent of the secular population is worried, while 67 percent of the religious population is concerned.
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In all, that has to do with possible Israeli policy in response to the Iranian threat, 61 percent of Israeli men support an attack, as compared with 47 percent of the women.
Professor David Menashri, the head of the center, said: “The unbridled language of President Ahmadinejad and his threats to wipe Israel off the map of history, accompanied by a program to develop nuclear capability and the upgrading of ballistic missiles, together with Iran’s increasing involvement in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip – all these have created real concern among Israelis. In addition, it appears that the declarations of Israeli leaders that regard Iran as an ‘existential threat,’ which were meant to make Israel’s concern clear to the world, only raised the threshold of fear among the Israeli public.”
David Bedein can be reached at email@example.com