PARIS (Oct. 6)
French students, reputedly leftist and anti-Israel, are far less negative toward the Jewish State than has been believed according to the results of a poll by the highly respected French Institute for Public Opinion which will be published in Le Figaro tomorrow. The vast majority of the students polled considered Israel a democratic state and thought that its existence “is a good thing.” A majority also believed, however, that “Israel is an artificial state” that can be sustained only by constant help from the Western world and diaspora Jews.
They expressed the belief that the Big Powers wanted peace in the Middle East but felt that Israel “cannot and should not trust their guarantees or any which the United Nations might extend.” The most severe point of criticism of Israel by the students was what they considered an overemphasis on the military and religious aspects. Forty-nine percent of the students believed that the Army plays too important a role in Israel and that the country is a theocratic state. But 68 percent thought that Frenchmen felt closer to Israel than to the Arab states. Only 11 percent expressed the opposite view.