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Israelis want to be in EU

by: Ronny Sofer, Ynetnews.com - Last updated: 2007-02-22

EU

EU

Seventy-five percent of Israelis would like Israel to be part of the European Union, and 11 percent said they would leave Israel if they were granted EU citizenship, according to a survey examining Israelis' attitudes towards Europe.

The study was commissioned by the Israeli offices of the German political foundation Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung .

Half of Israelis visited Europe in the past three years, the study found. The most popular destinations were France, Italy, Britain, Spain and Germany.

Eighty percent of the respondents said they liked Britain, making it the most popular European state among Israelis. Germany placed second with 67 percent support. Germany was followed by Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Turkey and Norway.

France, however, was less popular than its neighbor states, with 61 percent of the subjects saying they disliked France.

The poll was carried out as Germany took up the rotating EU presidency – but only one-quarter of Israelis were aware of Germany’s leadership of the EU.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was among the most popular foreign leaders among Israelis: 50 percent of those questioned said they supported Merkel, while a mere 9 percent said they disliked her. 60 percent of Israelis believed Merkel’s election as Germany’s first female chancellor improved Germany’s image in the world; 77 percent of Israelis from the generation that experienced the Holocaust expressed their support for her as well.
 
Dr. Lars Hansel, KAS manager in Israel, said, "The results show how deep the German-Israeli bond is and will help to bring Europe and Israel even closer.

"Germany is committed to Israel's security having recently sent peacekeeping forces to the shores off Lebanon to help protect Israel and subsidized the sale of 3 Dolphin class submarines to the Israeli Navy. This poll proves that Israelis want to strengthen the German-Israel ties, too," Hansel said.

The survey was conducted between February 5-7, 2007, among 511 respondents from both Jewish and Arab populations. The survey was conducted by KEEVOON Research, Strategy & Communications and had a 4.5 margin of error.

Reproduced with permission: Ynet