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Poll: Huge majority opposes unilateral Israeli war on Iran

This is the best news on the antiwar front since Meir Dagan went public – a poll published today by Dahaf, Israel’s leading public opinion surveying firm, found that only 19 percent of Israelis are in favor of Israel bombing Iran on its own, which is what most everyone, myself included, is predicting Israel will do.

The poll results, though, are not all peace and love – a plurality of 42 percent favor a joint U.S.-Israeli attack, which means the pro-war camp has a 2-1 advantage over the peace camp. (32 percent are against an attack on Iran, period.)

But if you judge by the public statements of Israeli politicians, there’s 0 percent opposition to war. If you judge by the news coverage and the commentators, there’s maybe 5 percent opposition. There’s been such a brainwashing campaign going on in this country, such a colossal amount of self-censorship by all the politicians, security establishment types and other influential figures over the war issue, so I find it remarkable that only 19 percent of Israelis are behind Netanyahu and Barak, that one-third of the public doesn’t want a war of any kind, no matter who’s behind us.

I hope to God that Obama brings this up in his meeting on Monday with Netanyahu, and in his speech the day before to AIPAC. This is powerful ammunition. And I hope to God that Peace Now, Meretz, Hadash, David Grossman, Amos Oz and everyone else who’s ever fought for peace in this country takes this poll as a wake-up call. There’s a movement waiting to be born. There’s a chance to stop this thing.

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    1. delia ruhe

      Public opinion in neither the US nor Israel favours this war, but that has nothing to do with whether or not it will happen.

      As Larry points out, in Israel there is a heavy propaganda campaign — undoubtedly lots of holocaust-mongering and other politics of fear. And in the US, Bibi has far more influence in both houses of Congress than Obama will ever have. Moreover, the NYT is famous for its support of Israeli policy, and Bibi practically owns Fox News.

      Somehow I just can’t see Obama standing up at the AIPAC conference to say he’s not bombing Iran for them. And since Bibi doesn’t do “iron clad” promises, he only demands them from the US, the best we can hope for is Obama’s promise to strike Iran as soon as the US election is over.

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    2. I hope I’m wrong, but having marched in London with over a million people against the war in Iraq, I have little faith in any government’s willingness to listen to its people (yes, those same people a government claims to represent). There’s more chance of Israel desisting from war if the USA puts the pressure on but Bibi knows Obama’s in a tricky position till after the election…. bloody politics

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    3. William Burns

      The problem with Israeli polls is that you always have to ask “who’s being polled”? Israelis pollsters and journalists have a very bad habit of presenting polls of the Israeli Jewish population as polls of “Israelis.”

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    4. John Yorke

      As I have often said before, all these proposals, agendas and mindsets demanding that various hostile moves to be made against the ‘other’ side are but manifestations of a deeper malaise.

      That malaise is a direct result of there being no consistent, settled policy with respect to any act of violent aggression, oppressive behaviour or expression of warlike intent. There has never been a permanent control mechanism in place to address or forestall such incidents or transgressions. Therefore, things soon reach the stage where an adverse reaction is triggered and this serves only to compound a situation already overloaded by too many of these responses in kind.

      In other words, there is no universally accepted way to take the sting out of so much that transpires in this conflict. And, as long as this remains the case, the entire matter rumbles on like an active volcano, spewing out death and destruction whenever the pressure exceeds whatever limit happens to be around at the time.

      Unless everyone starts thinking very differently about how to effectively combat this state of affairs, there can be virtually no hope that things will ever improve. And without improvement, the outcome can only be more of the same or, almost certainly, worse to come.

      We are all here in 2012, the twelfth year of this new century. Let’s try to apply some new ideas to a problem that, for lifetimes past, has defied all attempts at remedy.

      Maybe that ‘huge majority,’ professing itself to be against warfare of almost any sort, has, without realising it, had the answer all along.

      If so, then might it be this?


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    5. Marian Hennings

      I hope that Obama tells Netanyahu that no help will be forthcoming from the US if Israel attacks Iran. Talk about a no-win situation. This is not a single bombing attack that would be necessary as was the case in Iraq, and it is a risk neither the US nor Israel can afford. I wonder how many Iranians really want to nuke Israel? I doubt that many do, given the risks of nuclear war for everyone in the region.

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    6. Bill Pearlman

      This whole discussion is absurd. Israel has a crack air force. But it’s not designed for long range bombing missions like this . They CAN’T get there and back without a million things going right and nothing going wrong. It’s not going to happen like that.

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    7. John Yorke

      The problem is that same old stumbling-block that’s been there from the very beginning. Essentially, there has never been a definite direction leading us to where we want to be. We still have no real idea of a common destination and, even if we did, how we might proceed there remains something of a mystery.
      Because of this lack of progress, we’ve stopped looking for an exit strategy. We now try to address the symptoms on a piecemeal basis which, with no overall plan of action in place, offers little prospect of achieving anything of substance. Every new day seems to confront us with a fresh set of obstacles and, with most of the old ones still in place, no headway seems possible in our search for a better tomorrow.

      So, time to clear the decks, cut away the dead wood, comb the cobwebs out of our imagination and start out on a journey that is guaranteed to take us us some considerable distance, if not all the way, to where it is we would wish to go.


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    8. For a nation that has been bombarded with anti-Iran propaganda for three decades, this result is a real positive. Only hard-right Greater Israel Zionists really want to see this madness go ahead.

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