BERLIN (JTA) – Most Israeli Jews have a favorable opinion of Germany, a newly released poll shows.
The joint survey of 1,700 Israelis by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation was presented Sept. 10 at a conference in Jerusalem.
Researchers contacted 1,200 Jewish and 500 Arab Israelis. More Jews than Arabs tended to favor Germany.
Some 95 percent of Israelis said they would buy German goods. In addition, 52 percent of Israeli Jews are pleased with Germany’s role in Middle East politics, while 27 percent of Israeli Arabs find Germany’s Middle East role positive.
Some 83 percent of secular respondents define Israel’s relations with Germany as normal, in contrast with just 48 percent of fervently Orthodox respondents.
Professor Moshe Zimmerman of Hebrew University’s Koebner Center said in a statement that "in contrast to the official stance and that of the media, the Israeli public — and especially the Jewish public in Israel — relates to Germany not only in a neutral manner but actually in a supportive way."
Zimmerman told Ynet he believed that Arab Israelis "suspect that the German sympathy comes at the expense of support of the Palestinian interests."
He also said the survey showed clearly that "The more religious you are, the more you hate Germans." In addition, those further to the political right were less likely to be pleased with Germany’s Mideast politics.