Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:48AM GMT
Despite the rhetoric by Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu to sensationalize the Western dispute over Iran’s nuclear energy program, a recent survey shows that the majority of Israelis believe the issue of economy, not Iran, is the most critical issue they face.
According to a poll conducted by the Times of Israel, 43 percent of the respondents consider economic issues as the most important issue in the upcoming parliamentary elections in Israel.
Only 12 percent of the respondents, 23 percent of right-wing voters and only 2 percent of left-wing voters, said they were concerned about Iran and its nuclear energy program.
This is while Netanyahu has been trying to bring ‘security’ and diplomacy issues to the forefront of the January 22 elections.
On December 23, 2012, Netanyahu said that Iran’s nuclear energy program would “remain” his central issue in the next term if he was re-elected in the January elections.
Israel has repeatedly threatened to attack Iran’s nuclear energy facilities based on the unfounded allegation that the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program may contain non-civilian aspects.
Iran has vehemently refuted the allegations against its nuclear energy program, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it is entitled to use nuclear technology for peaceful objectives.
Repeating the war-mongering rhetoric on November 5, Netanyahu said he is ready to order a strike on Iran’s nuclear energy facilities.
However, several current and former Israeli military and intelligence figures have come out against Netanyahu’s war rhetoric against Tehran, saying such a move will in fact be to the detriment of the Israeli regime itself.
On January 11, former Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert strongly criticized Netanyahu for wasting billions of shekels for preparing futile war plans against Iran and said, “In the past two years, we have spent more than 11 billion shekels on security hallucinations that were not performed and will not be performed.”