By a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent, Israelis feel that Israel must use all available diplomatic means but avoid military action against Iran's nuclear development program, according to a poll by Dr. Yehuda Ben-Meir of the Public Opinion and Security project at the National Institute for Security Studies. Eighteen percent of those surveyed believed that Iran would use an atomic weapon to destroy Israel while 32 percent said that if Iran had a nuclear weapon, it would threaten to use it against Israel but would not actually use it for fear of Israel's reaction. At the same time, 62.5 percent felt Israel could deal with Iran's ability to attack it with a nuclear weapon, while 37.5 percent felt not.
Fifteen percent felt that the Tehran government will encourage Hamas and Hizbullah to escalate their activities against Israel while six percent believed that Iran would behave in a pragmatic way. Results of the poll were released ahead of Dr. Ben-Meir's participation in a conference on national security and society to be held on Wednesday in Tel Aviv, organized by the Center for Strategic Dialogue at the Netanya Academic College and the Friederich Ebert Fund.