Poll shows most Israelis oppose retaliatory strike against Iran that could damage alliances

A survey conducted by Hebrew University asked respondents whether they advocate military action that could alienate allies

Most Israelis oppose a retaliatory strike on Iran that could alienate their country’s allies, a recent poll has found. Several media outlets have reported in recent days that US President Joe Biden advised the Netanyahu government against taking military action against Tehran in response to the latter’s massive aerial bombardment over the weekend.

According to Israel, Iran launched several hundred missiles and explosive-laden drones late on Saturday; the Israeli military claims to have shot down almost all of them. Iran, in turn, has announced that it managed to strike several military installations.

Tehran has framed the attack as retribution for the death of seven high-ranking Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officers, who lost their lives when an alleged Israeli airstrike hit Iran’s consulate in Damascus on April 1.

On Tuesday, Hebrew University published the findings of its survey, which it had conducted over the previous two days online and by phone among 1,466 Israelis.

Most of the respondents (74%) spoke out against any military response to Iran’s recent bombardment “if it undermines Israel’s security alliance with its allies.”

More than half of the people polled also said that Israel “should respond positively to political and military demands from its allies” in order to “ensure a sustainable defense system over time.”

Speaking to reporters during his official visit to Israel on Wednesday, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron said “it’s clear the Israelis are making a decision to act.”

He expressed hope that Israel’s response would be executed in a “way that does as little to escalate this as possible.”

Earlier this week, ABC News, citing anonymous Biden administration officials, claimed that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had spoken by phone with his Israeli colleague, Yoav Gallant, telling the latter that Washington would not help its ally in any offensive military operation against Tehran.

The Israeli outlet Mako reported on Monday evening that Israel’s retaliation would need to receive the green light from the US and be in line with rules set by Washington, so as not to “degenerate the region into a war.”

Around the same time, the New York Times alleged that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had called off immediate retaliatory strikes after speaking with US President Joe Biden by phone on Saturday night.

On Sunday, Iran’s chief of staff of the armed forces, Major General Mohammad Bagheri warned that the Islamic Republic would unleash a “much more extensive” attack on Israel, should the latter conduct military strikes on Iran.