Young Dutchmen more negative on Israel, study shows

THE HAGUE (JTA) — A third of respondents to a survey of attitudes toward Israel in the Netherlands said they were now “more critical of Israel’s policies” than before.

“The Dutch are divided on Israel,” read a summary of the survey which was filled out this month by 1,067 adults and published Tuesday by the Evangelistische Omroep, a group associated with the Netherlands Public Broadcasting system.

The survey showed young people in the Netherlands have an especially negative view of Israel. Nearly 20 percent of respondents aged 18-34 gave Israel the lowest score possible: 0-20 on a scale of 100. Older respondents gave Israel higher scores.

In total, 22 percent of respondents ranked Israel 20-40; 32 percent of all respondents ranked Israel in the 40-60 zone and 20.5 percent ranked it 60-80.

“About 15-25 percent are explicitly positive on Israel, another 15-25 percent are negative and in between is a pretty large group,” reads the 12-page survey conducted to mark Israel’s 65th anniversary.

The study also showed that Protestant Dutchmen — who accounted for 32.7 percent of all respondents –- have a more positive attitude toward Israel than Catholics, who comprised 47 percent of respondents. “Ten percent of Catholics have a very positive attitude to Israel compared to 30 percent of Protestants,” the survey said.

Though 41 percent of respondents said they had “a very negative view of Muslims, this does not mean that people are more understanding toward Israel,” the authors of the survey wrote.

Nearly two-thirds said Arabs and Jews are both responsible for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Seven percent said the Palestinians caused it while 11 percent blamed Israel.

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