May 22, 2024

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Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: Netanyahu promises to respond to Iran, but the Israelis turn their backs on him

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: Netanyahu promises to respond to Iran, but the Israelis turn their backs on him

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may promise to respond to Iran during his meeting with the foreign ministers of Britain and Germany, but the Israeli people do not seem to agree to such an option.

Netanyahu stressed that Israel reserves its right to self-defense after Iran launched a missile and drone attack in response to an Israeli raid on the Iranian embassy in Damascus that resulted in the killing of senior Iranian officials in the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Netanyahu rejects Western pressure and public opinion in Israel

Netanyahu said: “I want to make clear that we will make our own decisions, and the State of Israel will do everything necessary to defend itself.”

The Israeli Prime Minister's Office said in a statement that the Prime Minister also thanked German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and British Foreign Secretary David Cameron for their “unprecedented” support in preventing the attack.

Netanyahu said, according to the statement: “I thank our friends for their support in defending Israel… support in word and deed.”

“They also have all kinds of suggestions and advice, which I appreciate. But I want to make it clear – we will make our own decisions and the State of Israel will do whatever is necessary to defend itself,” he added.

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With these statements, it appears that he is rejecting international pressures not to escalate by launching a new strike against Iran.

As Al Jazeera reported, all of this comes amid much debate about what comes next – whether, how, when and where Israel will respond to Iran.

The general opinion is that Israel will respond. This is the trend of all Israeli officials who made statements, including the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister and the IDF Commander.

74% of Israelis are against responding to Iran

However, the potential response and escalation of the conflict finds opponents besides the West, the United States and the Israeli people.

In particular a survey of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem according to CNNIt found that 74% of respondents would oppose a retaliatory strike against Iran “if it undermines Israel’s security alliance with its allies.”

26% supported the attack even if it harmed relations with the allies.

The Hebrew University poll also found that more than half of the public believes that Israel “responds favorably” to the military and political demands of its allies.

The university said in a statement that the survey was conducted from April 14 to 15 via the Internet and by phone and among a sample of 1,466 men and women representing Israeli, Jewish and Arab adults. The margin of error was 4.2 percentage points.

Mass demonstration against Benjamin Netanyahu and for the release of hostages in Tel Aviv (Source: Reuters/Hannah McKay)

He added that 56% of participants believe that Israel “must respond positively to the political and military demands of its allies” in order to “ensure a sustainable defense system in the long term.” Of the remainder, 32% were undecided and 12% disagreed.

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59% also believe that American aid to Israel against an Iranian attack forces the Israeli government to coordinate future security measures with Washington, while 26% have not decided on this issue and 15% do not agree with that.