Approximately 72 percent of Israelis support the use of nuclear weapons in certain circumstances, according to a Canadian survey released recently. The survey -- conducted jointly at the end of July by the Simons Foundation and Angus Reid Strategies -- was answered by adults in six countries and showed that 37% of Israelis believed the use of nuclear weapons to prevent a war would be justified, while 35% believed the weapons could be justifiably used during a war.And yet there are many Israeli organizations on the Left, such as the Alternative Information Center, B'Tselem, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, that are doing great work, side by side with such organizations as Adalah, the Arab Association for Human Rights, the Association of Forty, Aswat, and Ittijah that represent Palestinians in Israel. These are the hardiest leftists in the world, given what they are up against.
In addition, the survey found that Israel had the lowest public support for destroying nuclear weapons out of all the countries questioned.
Israel also had the highest percentage in favor of the country using its "power and influence in a way that serves its own interests" -- approximately 55% -- as opposed to "coordinat[ing] with other countries to do what's best for the world as a whole."
Nearly 72% also agreed that "nuclear weapons place Israel in a unique position, so it is not in our interest to participate in treaties that would reduce or eliminate our purported nuclear arsenal."("Poll: Most Israelis Support Using Nukes," Jerusalem Post, 1 October 2007)
Leftists in the Iranian diaspora, as well as Iran itself, ought to contact these courageous leftists in Israel and coordinate their activist work. If done well, a common front of Iranians, Israelis, and Palestinians on the Left against war and occupation will be a great publicity coup against those in the USA as well as Israel who are itching for a military strike against Iran.
Since I first posted the above, the Israeli opinion has improved: "Two-Thirds of Israelis Oppose Attack on Iran: Poll" (Agence France Presse, 6 December 2007). Thank God for Israeli leftists!