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. Majority of Jewish Israelis favour Iran strike: poll
JERUSALEM, May 4 (AFP) May 04, 2009
The majority of Jewish Israelis favour a military strike against arch-foe Iran's nuclear facilities, according to a poll published on Monday by the Haaretz newspaper.

Sixty-six percent said they backed such an attack, while 15 percent were against and 19 percent did not have an opinion, according to the survey.

Seventy-five percent of those who backed a strike said they would do so even if Israel's staunch ally the United States was opposed, while 15 percent said they would change their minds if Washington was against such action.

Israel considers Iran its arch enemy because of repeated statements by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the Jewish state to be "wiped off the map."

Widely considered to be the Middle East's sole nuclear armed power, Israel along with Washington suspects Iran is trying to develop atomic weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear programme, a charge Tehran denies.

Separately, while 60 percent said they had a "positive" or "very positive" attitude toward US President Barack Obama, only 38 percent think the new US president has a friendly attitude towards Israel.

This compares with 73 percent of Jewish Israelis who said in a December 2007 poll that Obama's predecessor George W. Bush had a friendly attitude toward Israel.

The poll was carried out by the Maagar Mochot research institute, questioning a representative sample of 610 people among Jewish Israelis and had a 4.5-percent margin of error. Jewish Israelis make up 80 percent of Israel's population.

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