Last updated: 1 December, 2011

Israelis support nuclear-free Mideast

A strong majority of Israeli Jews support a Middle East where neither Iran nor Israel nor any other country has nuclear weapons, according to a poll published on Thursday.

“By a ratio of two to one, Israelis support an agreement that would make the Middle East a nuclear weapon free zone, including Iran and Israel,” said the poll published by the Saban Center for Middle East Policy.

They advocated “a system of full inspections of all facilities where nuclear components are built or stored,” according to the poll carried out by the center at the Brookings Institution think tank.

“Given a choice of two options, one where both Israel and Iran have nuclear weapons and one where neither has them, 65 percent of Israeli Jews support the latter while only 19 percent support the former,” it added.

It also said that 90 percent of Israeli Jews believe that Iran will eventually build atomic weapons.

“Israeli Jews are equally divided on attacking Iranian nuclear facilities, with 43 percent supporting and 41 percent opposing an attack,” according to the survey.

But it said 68 percent of the Arabs who make up nearly 20 percent of Israel’s population would oppose an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites, while four percent support it.

The international community has imposed heavy sanctions on Iran to curb what it fears is a program to build atomic weapons. Iran denies the charges, insisting its nuclear program is purely for peaceful purposes.

Israel itself is widely held to possess several hundred nuclear missiles but has a policy of neither confirming nor denying that.

The poll surveyed 1,010 people in living in Israel in November this year.