Days after the announcement of the Iran nuclear deal, I set out in West Jerusalem’s Yafo Street to find out what Israelis thought about the agreement. The range of responses reflected the continuous right-ward shift and the complete militarization of Jewish Israeli society against a backdrop of apathy.
No one expressed opposition to a military attack on Iran, and several demanded it. At least two people (seen in the video), called for elimination, saying “any threat on our country should be removed from the land,” and “eliminate them.”
When one young man explained “Israel wants peace,” his friend who had called for removing the threat chided him as “the leftist between us.” In Israeli society, being called a leftist is typically a smear, and “death to Arabs” mobs hunted leftists last summer during the 51-day assault on Gaza.
One American/Israeli woman praised the agreement as “a huge breakthrough” and said “Israel really has not much to worry about it.” She then boasted, “I don’t have a side. Whenever I need to be on either side, I will be.”
I attempted to interview soldiers. However, they all refused to speak on camera because of military rules (these regulations are selectively enforced). Off camera, one soldier excitedly told me the military should invade Iran.
Two young men (who are featured in the video) speculated that a war against Iran is part of the biblical prophecy of Gog and Magog and the coming the messiah. One of them said he thinks the United States will join Iran in a war against Israel, and that will happen this summer.
Several of the people I interviewed saw the deal as weakening the relationship of the U.S. and Israel but two young men expressed indifference. “Protect yourself, is the only way,” one said. His friend added: “Don’t care what the world say– and do whatever is good for us.” While a third man of American-Israeli background said that Israel would continue to sabotage the Iranian program and kill Iranian scientists.
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