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Vast Majority of Israelis Support Israel Joining the European Union According to New Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Poll

Vast Majority of Israelis Support Israel Joining the European Union According to New Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Poll

July 14, 2011

Press Releases

Beer-Sheva, Israel, July 13, 2011 — A new study conducted by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev reveals that a vast majority (81 percent) of Israelis support joining the European Union (EU) and more involvement with European organizations.

“The results also show that there is widespread misperception about the Israeli public’s real attitudes toward the EU,” explains BGU’s Dr. Sharon Pardo, Jean Monnet Chair in European Studies in the Department of Politics and Government.  “The Israeli public actually views the EU and its member states as crucial players in shaping Israel’s future and would like to see both Europe and NATO playing an even more central role in the Middle East peace process.”  

Pardo notes that these findings suggest that Israelis are uncomfortable with the perceived isolationism propounded by the current government and want to see stronger and deeper cooperation with the EU, with its member states and with multilateral organizations.  He conducted a similar study in 2009.

This study showed that 68 percent of Israelis support joining NATO while nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of Israelis are also supportive of NATO deploying troops to the West Bank and Gaza in a peacekeeping capacity. Both Jewish and Arab citizens were in agreement in their support (63 percent vs. 64 percent).

Nearly half (47 percent) of Israelis surveyed say they support EU involvement in a two-state solution as the only framework for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One-fifth (19 percent) of Israelis also say a possible EU-Hamas dialogue increases their level of support for the EU.

The most highly regarded European leader right now is German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with favorable ratings of 55 percent. 

The survey also found that 8.5 percent of the Israelis are already citizens of one of the 27 EU member states.

The survey titled “Israel Positions on the EU” was conducted by Panels Research Ltd. in mid-June 2011. One thousand people responded to the survey which was a representative sample of the Israeli population. The survey has a 3.3 percent margin of error.

About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion’s vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University’s expertise locally and around the globe. Activities include showcasing BGU’s academic excellence and cutting-edge research through educational programs, events and informative communications. AABGU’s main purpose is to support Ben-Gurion’s vision and the university that bears his name by creating a community of Americans committed to improving the world tomorrow from the heart of the Israeli desert today.

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