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Israelis, like United States, wary about strike on Iran

• http://www.washingtonpost.com, By Karin Brulliard
 

JERUSALEM — As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned from a visit to Washington this week, much of the discussion here centered on traffic-light hues. Had the Israeli leader been given a red light or a green light about attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities?

The general assessment was that President Obama’s signal — his appeals to give diplomacy more time and his pledges of support for Israel — fell somewhere on the spectrum between yellow and red. To many here, that probably came as a relief.
 

Amid an escalating din among Israeli leaders about the threat of a potentially nuclear Iran, the Israeli public has displayed little enthusiasm for a solo preemptive military strike. A handful of recent polls have shown that ordinary Israelis are firmly against the idea of going it alone.

“Israelis are much more careful, much more cautious than their government,” said Ephraim Yaar, a Tel Aviv University professor who co-directs a monthly public opinion survey. This week, more than 60 percent of Israelis polled said they opposed an attack on Iran without U.S. cooperation.

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