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NEWS ANALYSIS: Poll: Europeans Much More Critical of Israel Than Americans

Posted by kinchendavid on August 24, 2006

By  Jim Kouri

Special to DavidKinchen.com

The majority of people interviewed in the three main European countries (Germany, France and the United Kingdom) consider Israel‘s military intervention in Lebanon in order to fight Hezbollah to be unjustified, according to a recent poll.

Meanwhile, Americans share the exact opposite view.

These are the main findings of a survey, conducted by TNS Opinion, amongst more than 4,000 persons, just one day before the adoption of a UN resolution for a cease fire in the region.

Out of the four countries covered by this study, the French appear to be the most critical: 66% found the Israeli military intervention in Lebanon unjustified. A clear majority of Germans come to the same conclusion (65% respond “unjustified”), reinforcing the majority point of view measured in France.

In the UK, the balance is similar (46% believe that this action was not justified compared to 24% who hold the opposite view), although a significant proportion of the respondents do not want to take a stance in the debate (29% chose either the “do not know” option or
simply refused to answer).

These results seem to indirectly indicate that a significant proportion of public opinion in these countries consider that Israel has gone too far in its response to the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers by the Hezbollah. In other words, this action was felt to be disproportionate, hence unjustified.

It’s believed that part of the problem for Europeans to understand the Israeli strategy is the news media’s coverage of the battle between Israel and the terrorist group Hezbollah. While there was an intense bombardment of Israel by Hezbollah-fired rockets, the media focused on Israel‘s retaliation and the deaths and destruction in Lebanon.

In some cases, the media’s irrational urge to create the illusion that the Lebanese people were being unfairly targeted by the Israeli military caused photographers and reporters to “doctor” photographs and spin stories. Reuters, a leading European-based news wire service, was caught publishing photographs that were altered and several stories read more like op-ed pieces than straight news stories.

However, in the USA pollsters faced a quite different view than measured in the three main European countries. The same poll revealed that 45% of Americans support Israel‘s decision to intervene against Hezbollah in Lebanon , while 34% find it unjustified.

While anti-Semites exist in all countries including Israel, they number many more in France, Germany and the UK.  These three nations —  especially France and Germany — possess an ugly history of anti-Semitism, especially during World War II. The Germans, of course, created the Jewish ghettoes, and then they herded the Jews into death camps throughout Nazi-controlled Europe.

The French displayed a perverse interest in helping the Germans implement their “Final Solution.”  So cooperative were the French authorities in both occupied France and so-called Free France — although the Vichy government in unocupied France was just as oppressive as the Nazis — that they became adept at rousting French Jews and sending them off to the Nazi concentration camps.

Anti-Semitism in the United Kingdom had more to do with the sometimes bizarre British class-system. The Brits appeared to have an innate distrust of the successful Chosen People. The upper-crust Brits lived lives of leisure, for the most part, and the Jews were able businessmen and bankers who created wealth but faced discrimination by the UK‘s nobility and commoners alike. They were viewed as “working-class,” albeit more wealthy than the titled landowners and military officers.

And then there is the history of British occupation of what would eventually be called Israel. The Jewish freedom fighters used questionable tactics against the British soldiers and to this day there remain ill-feelings towards the Jewish people the Brits once termed “terrorists.”

And so it seems majorities in France, Germany and the United Kingdom find it convenient to overlook the brutality and violence of a terrorist group, while coming down hard on the Jewish defense forces who simply wish to prevent another Holocaust, this time at the hands of Islamofascists.


                                * * * *

Jim Kouri  is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). He’s a former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. Kouri has appeared as on-air commentator for more than 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc.  His book “Assume The Position” is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.U.S.





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