An overwhelming majority of Americans oppose providing any special compensation to the state of Israel in order to assuage its concerns about the Iran nuclear deal. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opposes the Iran deal as an “existential threat” and retains Israel’s right to attack Iran.
Asked to indicate their level of support for various compensation options proposed during or after negotiations:
Only 7.9 percent support increasing annual US aid to Israel from $3.5 billion to $5 billion. Israel currently receives the largest share of the total US foreign aid budget. The Obama administration is offering increased aid to reduce Israeli opposition to the deal, though no specific package is on the table.
Just 4.1 percent favor giving Israel deep penetrating “bunker buster” bombs of the type designed to destroy fortified targets. Michael Makovsky, president of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, has widely promoted giving the weapons to Israel along with the bombers needed for delivery.
Another 4.0 percent support providing Israel with B-52 long-range bombers. Israel’s air power is currently thought to be inadequate for distant targets such as Iran. Former Middle East advisor Dennis Ross proposed that B-52s would give Israel a more “credible” deterrent threat against Iran.
A scant 3.4 percent favor releasing jailed Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard to Israel. Pollard is serving a 30-year prison term for spying on the US for Israel and is eligible for mandatory parole in November. Pollard would not be allowed to immediately travel to Israel unless there is special intervention by the Obama administration.
While 12.8 percent favor “all of the above” compensation be provided to Israel, an overwhelming 67.8 percent of Americans chose “none of the above.”
The IRmep poll, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percent, was fielded to 1,500 respondents July 25-26 by Google Consumer Surveys. Poll data may be viewed online here.
In mid-July Iran signed an agreement with the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5 +1) agreeing to additional limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for relief from an international economic boycott. Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NNPT) which encourages civilian nuclear industry in exchange for prohibitions on nuclear weapons development. Israel refuses to sign the NNPT and according to the US Department of Defense has extensive nuclear weapons production facilities.