Majority of Israeli Jews agree Iran deal poses ‘existential threat,’ poll finds

Julie Wiener

(JTA) — Almost three-quarters of Israeli Jews agree with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s assertion that the Iran nuclear deal poses an “existential threat” to the Jewish state.

According to The Peace Index, a poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University on Aug. 30-31 by telephone, 73 percent of Israeli Jews share Netanyahu’s views on the Iran nuclear deal, which lifts sanctions in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program, and 78 percent believe Iran will not uphold its obligations under the deal.

Arab Israelis had mixed views on the deal, with 35 percent believing Iran will not uphold its commitments, 30 percent saying it would fulfill its commitments and 34 percent saying they did not know. In addition, 45 percent of Arab Israelis disagreed that the Iran deal posed an existential threat.

Almost half of Israeli Jews polled thought Netanyahu’s efforts to fight the nuclear deal, negotiated between Iran and six world powers, including the United States, would damage U.S.-Israel relations, while 37 percent said it would not affect relations.

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The poll found sharp differences in opinion between the Jewish Israeli population at large and members of the left-wing Meretz party, 90 percent of whom said the Iran deal is not an existential threat.

The poll also revealed differences of opinion on the legacy of Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s war in Gaza last summer: 80 percent of Jewish Israelis said Israel’s decision to launch the war was right, while 69 percent of Arab Israelis said the decision was not right.

The poll included 600 respondents and had a 4.1 percent margin of error.

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