Should Israel Have Attacked Iran? Most Jewish Israelis Think So, Poll Finds

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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi attends a live televised interview in Tehran, in September
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi attends a live televised interview in Tehran, in SeptemberCredit: Iranian Presidency Office via AP

More than half of Jewish Israelis believe that Israel should have launched a military attack against Iran during the early stages of its nuclear development, according to a new poll released on Sunday.

Military action, according to 51 percent of Jewish participants in a poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute, would have been preferable to a negotiated settlement.

The think tank found that only 15 percent of Arab Israelis believe that Israel should have turned to a military solution. 23.5 percent of Jews and 46 percent of Arabs said that diplomacy would have been the preferred option.

The institute noted an "especially high" rate of both Jews (25.5 percent) and Arabs (39 percent) who said they didn't know which alternative was preferable. The survey question doesn’t specify what is to be inferred as the “early stage” of Iran’s nuclear program.

The think tank surveyed 603 people in Hebrew and 153 in Arabic between September 30 and October 4, and reported that its poll had a maximum sampling error of 3.59 percent.

The U.S. unilaterally pulled out of the deal in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump — who announced a “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic Republic— but Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia have tried to preserve the accord.

Since then, Tehran has been producing hundreds of pounds of 20-percent enriched uranium, far in excess of the 3.67 percent allowed under the agreement. Enriched uranium above 90 percent can be used in a nuclear weapon.

Tehran’s strategy of deliberately violating the deal is seen as an attempt to put pressure on Europe to provide it with incentives to offset crippling American sanctions re-imposed after the U.S. pullout.

President Joe Biden has said he is open to rejoining the pact. The last round of talks in Vienna ended in June without a clear result.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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