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German government's pro-Israeli policy not supported by public: Poll

November 24, 2023 at 2:02 pm

People gather to stage a demonstration in support of Palestinians who under Israeli attacks, at Invalidenpark in Berlin, Germany on November 18, 2023. [Halil Sağırkaya – Anadolu Agency]

The German government’s pro-Israel stance on the Gaza war is not supported by the public, a new poll revealed on Friday, Anadolu Agency reports.

The poll by the Allensbach Institute found that the majority of Germans are against taking sides in the Israel-Palestine conflict, and strongly oppose providing military support to Israel.

Some 43 per cent of those surveyed said Germany should stay out of the conflict, and only 34 per cent said they agree with the view that Germany bears special responsibility for Israel due to its Nazi past.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has repeatedly said that Israel’s security is non-negotiable, and in the current conflict with Hamas, Germany “has only one place” and that is “firmly at the side of Israel”.

In the poll, only 31 per cent of respondents backed Scholz’s approach, and said they are supporting Israel’s military campaign in Gaza against Hamas.

In contrast, 38 per cent of those surveyed said Israel should be urged to exercise restraint to prevent casualties among the Palestinian civilian population.

The poll showed that the majority of the Germans expect the government to take a more balanced stance and step up efforts for a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

Overall, 57 per cent of Germans said Scholz’s government should pursue a mediating role between the warring parties.

Meanwhile, 17 per cent of the respondents criticised the Israeli government, saying it does not want peace at all.

Around 38 per cent said Israel has “too little understanding for its Arab neighbours” and “unjust occupying territories”.

Asked about the German government’s offer of military support to Israel, the majority of the respondents opposed sending ammunition or weapons.

Some 8 per cent of Germans said they support sending weapons, and only 3 per cent said the German armed forces, Bundeswehr, should offer support Israel in its military campaign.

READ: Europe’s divisions over Israel support deepen as Gaza deaths mount