Poll: Majority of Germans think Israel is ´aggressive´ (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By DPA 05/24/12)
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Germans have become markedly more critical of Israel over the past
three years, with 59 percent describing it as aggressive, according
to a survey for the weekly magazine Stern released on Wednesday.
The survey was conducted shortly before President Joachim Gauck
visits Israel and the Palestinian territories May 28-31.
A similar Stern survey in 2009 found 49 percent considered Israel
The survey, conducted by Forsa pollsters, found 70 percent of Germans
agree with the statement that Israel pursues its interests without
consideration for other nations. Three years ago, 59 percent agreed.
Israel´s threat to launch preemptive airstrikes against Iran if
nuclear talks fail to stop its nuclear enrichment activities were
debated in Germany last month after novelist Guenter Grass published
a poem, What Must Be Said, which contended that Israel was
threatening to "wipe out the Iranian people."
Most leading German politicians disowned Grass, while Israel accused
him of anti-Semitism and said he would be refused entry if he ever
tried to visit. Commentators then said many Germans might quietly
agree with him.
The Forsa poll found only 36 percent of Germans had a very positive
view of Israel, down from 45 percent in 2009, while 13 percent,
unchanged, said it had no right to exist.
Some 60 percent disagreed with the statement that Germany owed a
special obligation to Israel after the Holocaust, while 65 percent
said that Germany ought to recognize a Palestinian state. (©
Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 05/24/12)
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