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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira: Americans and Israelis Urge Caution on Iran

There’s a lot of saber-rattling toward Iran going on among conservative leaders in both the U.S. and Israel, much of it in the U.S. by those who have never served in the military. Yet public opinion polls indicate scant support for war against Iran in either country.
As TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira puts it in his latest ‘Public Opinion Snapshot,’: “The possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran needs to be taken very seriously, of course, but war is also very serious and not to be rushed into. That measured-but-firm approach is shared by the majority of Americans and Israelis.’ In the U.S., Teixeira adds:

In the United States a recent CNN poll found that when the public is given a choice between immediate military action, economic and diplomatic efforts to get Iran to shut down its nuclear program, and no action, the dominant choice is economic and diplomatic efforts (60 percent). Just 17 percent want military action now. Only 22 percent prefer to take no action.

In Israel, support for a pre-emptive strike is equally unpopular, says Teixeira:

Similarly, in Israel a recent collaborative poll between the Sadat Chair at the University of Maryland and Israel’s Dahaf Institute finds that only 19 percent of Israelis want to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities unilaterally while 42 percent believe such a strike needs U.S. support. Thirty-four percent of Israelis are opposed to a strike.

As Teixeira concludes, “These Americans and Israelis understand, even if conservatives do not, that military action against Iran should not be pursued unilaterally and without exploration of alternatives.”

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