This is the third installment of an extended article on the prospects for a war against Iran three and one-half months ago in Berkeley.
The third presenter was Shibley Telhami whose field is statistics garnered from surveys from within the Middle East. Opinion within the governments, civil society and the media on the likelihood of war with Iran differ. Various Arab governmentsâ€™ assessments vary. Arab publications overall, though, do not foresee a war evolving anytime soon overall.
Arab polls see the biggest threat to the region is Israel and that the US is third. There is a major support for Iranâ€™s nuclear program in the zone. A nuclear Tehran might not be a negative development, for Israel has been so grossly over (nuclear) weaponized for any â€œthreatâ€ against them [your reporter is ignoring the moral dimension of the Negevâ€™ armaments], and a token MAD [Mutual Assured Destruction] from the land of the ancient Medes will encourage parties involved in the conundrum in Palestine to sit down, and settle their problems with justice. One of the factors that have prevented that other crisis to be solved has been the brutality of the Zionists, enforced by their over-deployment of advanced ordnance (enabled by the United States), and the blackmail of their Arab neighbors through these same armaments. [For instance, a direct hit on the Aswan Dam would slaughter twenty million Egyptian souls.])
What is of importance is the psychology of perception. According to Israeli public opinion, 90% presume that the Persians will achieve a nuclear capability, but, if Qum gives up their capacity, Israel should renounce theirs.
Telhami claims that the Israeli government is essentially an existential one. Only 19% of Israelis and Christian â€œZionistsâ€™ in the U.S.A. believe that the former nation could attack Iran without the latter. Also, if a war does break out, the Israeli public feels it will take months if not years to conflict. (Since with Israel major wars have been over in mere days, there is a deep question on whether such a miniscule country as Israel has the material fortitude to withstand an expanded battle with a considerably larger expanse with greater natural resources and human population and who are capable of making counter-attacks again and again as in the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s.)
Within Israel, 24% support an American attack upon Iran.