Last Update 22:18

Majority of Germans view Israel as 'aggressive': poll

A recent survey finds that 59 percent of the Germans perceive Israel as 'aggressive', believing that Berlin has no special obligation towards the Jewish state

AFP, Wednesday 23 May 2012
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel (2nd L) visits the German Spanish Europa School Friedensburg on a European project day in Berlin, May 14, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Most Germans view Israel as "aggressive", according to an opinion poll released Wednesday ahead of a state visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories by Germany's president.

The survey conducted by Forsa for Stern news magazine found that 59 percent of those questioned viewed Israel as "aggressive", an increase of 10 percentage points over a similar survey in January 2009.

Seventy percent said they believed Israel pursued its interests without consideration for other nations, Stern said in a pre-release of its Thursday edition, up 11 percentage points from three years ago.

And 67 years after the end of the Nazi regime, 60 percent said Germany had no special obligation towards Israel, while a third believed the contrary, according to the survey of 1,002 people conducted on May 15 and 16.

After tensions over Jewish settlements and a critical poem, new German President Joachim Gauck is due to make his first state visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories from May 28 to 31.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been sharply critical of the Israeli government's settlements policy in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, calling it an obstacle to fruitful peace talks with the Palestinians.

And last month German Nobel prize-winning author Gunter Grass sparked outrage when he published a poem in which he said he feared a nuclear-armed Israel "could wipe out the Iranian people" with a "first strike" and described the Jewish state as the region's biggest threat to peace.

Although his work came in for widespread condemnation in Germany, a subsequent move by the Israeli government to declare the 84-year-old author of "The Tin Drum" a persona non grata was also roundly criticised.

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Luis Ahumada
26-05-2012 04:52pm
Israel and the world
The holocaust is an invention of the jews to get money out of Germany.The Auschwitz tale started with 4 000 000 jews in gas chambers. Tday they say there were 1 000000. But others sources talk of 450 000 dead, but not in gaschambers. The death certificates, which the russians handed over to the international red cross certify 67 000 death, but the jewish press insists in the 6 000 000 story. It is time to stop this, because the jews will use even their unlawfull stockpile of their atomic arms to controll the rest of the world
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25-05-2012 11:13am
Turning tide
Interesting results on the survey. Israel has for decades manipulated and used German guilt over the Holocaust to gain European silence over its policies and actions against the Palestinians. Future generations of Germans will not nearly be as sympathetic.
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