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Israelis want to join EU, survey finds

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — A majority of Israelis would like to see their country join the European Union, a new survey found.

The 69 percent of Israelis who would like to see Israel join the EU includes 76 percent of Jews and 40 percent of Arabs. In addition, 60 percent of Israelis view the EU favorably, according to the survey conducted by the Keevon Research firm on behalf of the Israel office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung organization.

Some 54 percent of Israelis also support joining NATO, as well as having NATO troops in Gaza and the West Bank in a peacekeeping capacity. Of that percentage, 62 percent of Jewish Israelis and 24 percent of Arab Israelis support the NATO troops.

A majority of Israelis, 61 percent, also feel that the main priority of the new Israeli government should be the economy and not foreign policy.

Some 60 percent of Israelis think that Germany has a special obligation to support Israel because of the Holocaust, while 31 percent do not. Some 36 percent of Israeli Arabs also feel that Germany has the same special obligation.

"The results show that Germany and the EU member states continue to play an important and central role in Israel," said Lars Hansel, director of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Israeli office. "We were delighted to see significant support for EU countries and initiatives. We are looking forward to sharing the results with relevant policymakers in Israel and Europe. We are confident of the very deep German-Israeli bond and will continue to work towards strengthening it even more."

The telephone survey of 500 Israeli Jews and 100 Israeli Arabs older than 18 took place April 1-5. There is a 4.1 percent margin of error.
 

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