Israelis say use of nukes justified

Sunday, September 30, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

An overwhelming majority of Israelis believe their country would be justified in using nuclear weapons against its enemies in the full-scale war that threatened its existence or as a deterrent against such a conflagration, according to the results of a new poll.

Conducted by the Simons Foundation and Angus Reid Strategies, the “Global Public Opinion on Nuclear Weapons” survey asked 1,000 Israeli adults if they believed Israel would be justified in using the nuclear weapons most of the world believes it possesses. Thirty-five percent said Israel would be justified in using nuclear weapons “in the context of an actual war,” and another 36.7 percent said their nation would be justified using nuclear weapons “as a deterrent against a possible attack.”

Only 21.6 percent of Israelis said their nation should never under any circumstances employ nuclear weapons.

Slim majorities in both the US and France said their nations would be justified in using nuclear weapons either in the course of war or as a deterrent, while a narrow majority in Britain swung the other way, insisting that their nation should never use nuclear weapons for any reason.

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