Israelis evenly divided on whether to attack Iran

The Jerusalem Post reports on a poll showing that Israelis are divided almost evenly on the issue of whether to launch a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. According to the poll, by the Netanya Academic College, 52 percent of Israelis oppose such a strike, while 48 percent support it (presumably the “undecideds” were factored out of the poll in some way — even in Israel and even on this issue, there must be some who haven’t made up their mind).

62.5 percent of respondents believe that Israel would be able to cope with an Iranian nuclear capacity. I believe that Israel probably could, as well. But the real question, it seems to me, is how much confidence one has in this assessment. For “non-coping” in this context might well mean physical annihilation. To the extent they have thought about this matter carefully, the 52 percent of resondents who oppose a strike must be extremeely confident that Israel could cope or extremely fearful of the consequences of attacking Iran.

In any event, the Israeli government undoubtedly would prefer a higher level of popular support for an attack, to the extent this option is on the table — as surely it must be.