Germans oppose a unilateral Palestinian state, poll finds


BERLIN (JTA) — A new poll suggests that most Germans would oppose an early declaration of a Palestinian state.

The poll also found that Germans would view a nuclear Iran as a serious threat both to Israel and Germany, and that respondents also backed enforcing sanctions against Iran even if it would hurt German companies.

The survey of 800 people was conducted Jan. 12-19. In addition, focus groups of opinion leaders were held Jan. 6.

Both polls were conducted by the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner institution for The Israel Project, a think tank based in Washington and Jerusalem.

Asked if Germany should recognize a unilaterally declared Palestinian state, 57 percent overall were opposed, with 27 percent were strongly opposed. Only 14 percent strongly favored such recognition; 36 percent overall approved of the idea.

Asked to imagine a nuclear-armed Iran, 69 percent felt this would be threatening to Germany, and 88 percent saw it as a threat to Israel. Backing up their fears, 76 percent said they approved strong enforcement of economic sanctions against Iran, even if the sanctions had an impact on German business.

The survey was conducted just as a former German politician raised eyebrows by calling on the European Union to recognize an independent Palestinian state. Former German development minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul of the Social Democratic Party drew a sharp reaction from Reinhold Robbe, head of the German-Israeli Friendship Society, who called her comments “irresponsible” and “naive."

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