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Israeli Voters: Economy Trumps Iran

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A poll by the Times of Israel shows some surprising results: only 12 percent of likely voters cited Iran's nuclear program as an "urgent" issue vs. 43% who said economic problems were more pressing. Security issues in general were given short shrift next to economic and social problems.

Meir Javedanfar takes a stab at explaining why that is:

Although Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tries to play on the population's fears by portraying Israel as a country facing imminent demise from Iran (unless he saves it), the fact that today Israel is a regional superpower is not lost on many Israelis. This is why, unlike the first few decades after Israel’s independence, Israelis can afford to focus on domestic issues more than on Iran.

Unlike Israel's current settlement policies, when it comes to the Iranian regime’s threats, not just the US but the entire Western world stands with Israel. Even the Chinese and the Russians today are negotiating against Iran as part of the P5+1 group. Furthermore, the sanctions against Iran, together with US President Barack Obama's promise that he will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, seem to have convinced many in Israel that when it comes to the Iranian regime, Israel is not alone.

Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan calling an attack against Iran "the stupidest thing he has ever heard" is another important reason. When Israel's former master spy, who Ariel Sharon described as specializing in "detaching Arabs from their heads," says something like this, Israelis may be forgiven for thinking that that their country is not in danger of imminent destruction by Iran.