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.
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."
About three-quarters of Israelis also said they would feel safer if they knew for certain that Israel had nuclear weapons. Israel has thus far maintained its policy of nuclear ambiguity.
The organizers of the study suggested that Israel accorded greater importance to the nuclear form of defense due to the Iranian threat, Army Radio reported.
The study spanned a sample of 1,000 adults in Britain, France, Italy, Germany and the US along with Israel.
© 2007 The Jerusalem Post