Attitudes Toward Jews and the Middle East in Five European Countries
Posted: May 14, 2007
Anti-Jewish sentiment in Italy
Ø The data indicate that 32 percent of Italian respondents answered "probably true" to at least three of the four anti-Semitic stereotypes tested.
Ø Their responses to the four statements are as follows:
1) 48 percent of respondents think that Jews are more loyal to Israel than to Italy.
2) 42 percent of respondents think that Jews have too much power in the business world.
3) 42 percent believe that Jews have too much power in international financial markets.
4) 46 percent believe that Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust.
Ø 18 percent of Italian respondents agree that the Jews are responsible for the death of Christ.
Ø 17 percent say that their opinion of Jews is influenced by the actions of the State of Israel. Of those, 47 percent say that their opinion of Jews is worse as a result of actions taken by Israel, while 36 percent say there opinion of Jews is better as a result of the actions taken by Israel.
Ø 38 percent believe the source of the current violence directed against Italian Jews is a result of anti-Jewish feelings while 33 percent believe that the source of the violence is a result of anti-Israel sentiment.
Ø By a margin of 50 percent to 28 percent, respondents think that the Italian government is doing enough to ensure the safety and security of its Jewish citizens.
Attitudes Toward The Middle East
Ø 89 percent of respondents are either "very concerned" or "somewhat concerned" about Iran developing nuclear weapons.
Ø 56 percent of those surveyed in Italy believe that Iran's nuclear program is being developed for military purposes. 15 percent believe that the nuclear program is being developed for nuclear energy. 15 percent say both.
Ø 64 percent support imposing economic sanctions against Iran until it agrees to suspend its nuclear program, while 30 percent oppose imposing sanctions against Iran.
Ø 47 percent of respondents say they have been following the coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict "a great deal" or "a good amount."
Ø 52 percent of those surveyed have a favorable view of the Palestinians. 23 percent have neither a favorable nor unfavorable view of the Palestinians and 14 percent have an unfavorable view of the Palestinians.
Ø 53 percent of respondents have a favorable view of Israel. 24 percent have neither a favorable nor unfavorable view toward Israel and 13 percent have an unfavorable view of Israel.
Ø Regarding the current conflict, 20 percent of those surveyed say they sympathize more with the Palestinians, 22 percent sympathize more with the Israelis, 28 percent say they sympathize with neither side, and 24 percent say they sympathize with both sides.
Ø 45 percent of respondents consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization while 24 percent consider it a legitimate nationalist movement.
Ø 39 percent believe that Hamas wants to destroy Israel.
Ø 27 percent believe that Israel wants to destroy the Palestinian people.
Ø 63 percent of those surveyed either "strongly" or "somewhat" support the European Union's decision to stop all foreign aid to the Palestinian government until Hamas renounces the use of violence against Israeli civilians, agrees to recognize Israel's right to exist and accepts all past agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Ø 43 percent of respondents believe that now that Hamas has agreed to form a unity government with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the international community should lift its boycott of the Palestinian government and immediately resume the flow of foreign aid.
Ø Conversely, 45 percent believe that despite the formation of a Palestinian unity government, the international community should continue to boycott the Palestinian government and withhold foreign aid until Hamas agrees to renounce the use of violence against Israelis and recognizes Israel's right to exist.
Ø 71 percent agree with the statement that "Israel truly wants to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians."
Ø 67 percent agree with the statement that the "Palestinian Authority truly wants to reach a peace agreement with Israel."
Ø 37 percent agree with the notion that Israeli treatment of Palestinians is similar to South Africa's treatment of blacks during apartheid.
Ø By a margin of 49 percent to 35 percent, Italian respondents believe that Israel is an open and democratic society.
Ø 42 percent of those surveyed believe that Israel had a right to use military force against Hezbollah forces in Southern Lebanon last year while 40 percent believe it did not.
Ø 47 percent consider Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization while 23 percent believe it is a legitimate nationalist movement.
Ø 52 percent of those surveyed believe that the Italian government's Middle East policies are unbiased toward the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Ø 44 percent of respondents in Italy agree with the statement that "American Jews control U.S. Middle Eastern policy."
Ø 42 percent of those surveyed in Italy believe that European media coverage of the current conflict in the Middle East has been either "balanced" or "fairly balanced."
Ø 45 percent believe that the media coverage has been "fairly" or "very" biased. Of these respondents, 53 percent say it has been biased in favor of the Israelis, 29 percent believe it is biased in favor of the "Arabs" and 14 percent answered "don't know."