A large majority of Jewish Israelis believes the Iran nuclear deal poses an “existential threat” to Israel and that Iran won’t abide by the agreement, according to a new public opinion poll.
The survey, published Wednesday by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, found that 73 percent of Israeli Jews said they were "sure" or at least "moderately sure" that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is right when he says the deal poses an existential threat to the country.
Asked if they believe that Iran is “upholding or not really upholding” its side of the nuclear deal spearheaded by the U.S. along with five world powers, 78 percent of Israeli Jews said they "think it is not upholding" or are "sure it is not upholding" its obligations.
Arab Israelis were split on the issue of Iran upholding its commitments, while 45 percent said they did not view Iran as an existential threat to the country.
As if to drive home Israelis’ fears, Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday threatened the future existence of the Jewish state in a series of anti-American and anti-Israeli posts on Twitter.
Addressing Israel, Khamenei wrote, “You will not see next 25 years. God willing, there will be nothing as Zionist regime by next 25 years” and until then, it will have “no moment of serenity.”
The State Department said Tuesday that Secretary of State John Kerry reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security in a weekend telephone call with Netanyahu.
“The secretary and the prime minister reiterated the need to continue pushing back on Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters. “The secretary reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to Israel’s security and continued military and security relationship."
Netanyahu has argued repeatedly that the Iran deal comprises a threat to Israel’s future because he believes the concessions offered Iran will pave the way for it to become a nuclear power.
He has also blasted lifting of sanctions, which he says will allow Iran new funds with which to “arm their terror machine,” including supporting international terrorist groups like Hezbollah.
The Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University poll was conducted on Aug. 30 and 31.