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Most Germans view Israel as 'aggressive'
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Most Germans view Israel as 'aggressive'

Published: 23 May 2012 15:47 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 May 2012 15:47 GMT+02:00

A large majority of Germans view Israel as "aggressive" and think Germany no longer has a special obligation to the Jewish nation, according to an opinion poll released Wednesday ahead of a state visit by Germany's president.

The survey, conducted by Forsa for Stern news magazine, found that 59 percent of those questioned viewed Israel as "aggressive", an increase of 10 percentage points over a similar survey in January 2009.

Seventy percent said they believed Israel pursued its interests without consideration for other nations, Stern said in a pre-release of its Thursday edition, up 11 percentage points from three years ago.

And 67 years after the end of the Nazi regime, 60 percent said Germany had no special obligation towards Israel, while a third believed the contrary, according to the survey of 1,002 people conducted on May 15 and 16.

New German President Joachim Gauck is due to make his first state visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories from May 28 to 31.

The visit comes in a particularly sensitive time, after tensions over Jewish settlements and a few weeks after the publication of a highly critical prose poem by German Nobel laureate Günter Grass.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been sharply critical of the Israeli government's settlements policy in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, calling it an obstacle to fruitful peace talks with the Palestinians.

And last month Grass sparked outrage when he published a poem in which he said he feared a nuclear-armed Israel "could wipe out the Iranian people" with a "first strike" and described the Jewish state as the region's biggest threat to peace.

Although his work came in for widespread condemnation in Germany, a subsequent move by the Israeli government to declare the 84-year-old author of "The Tin Drum" a persona non grata was also roundly criticised.

AFP/The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:24 May 23, 2012 by raandy
Grass's opinion is a bit of an over reaction,(and a little biased) doubt that an Israeli first strike would wipe out the Iranian people, maybe wipe out the nuclear procurement site.

Although I would agree with the poll that Israel is aggressive and the Germans have no obligation to Israel from any past Governments that has been outlawed. There is no established statute of limitations for Nazi war criminals and they have been vigorously hunted and prosecuted. This is reasonable, but holding the Government of Germany responsible for this past is not reasonable.
16:33 May 23, 2012 by christmascorner
People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
16:37 May 23, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Why wouldn't they? Governments have long realized that it is easier to negotiate diplomacy however you want when you sell the public a corresponding narrative first. That's where the press comes in, they sell the narrative. now that Germany has a substantial Muslim viewer and readership( who have also been sold their homelands' narrative). it allows for their Middle East policy to be more effective. for diplomatic ties to the soon to be Muslim Brotherhood's Middle East, to be more effective. if you have any doubts that this is just smoke and mirrors, and public opinion is being used as a pawn in ongoing diplomacy, then why are the Israelis cruising around in German subs?

German Politicians also realize it could get them the vote with a certain voter base. They go on Ocean cruises to Palestine with the al Aqsa Brigade.
16:52 May 23, 2012 by Major B
Wipe out the Iranian people in a first strike? All 80 million? Laughable. Agree with raandy.

Ah, sounds like Herr Grass is more interrested in started a wildfire than making a serious commentary or contribution to peace.
16:55 May 23, 2012 by gkh50
I do not think its just Germans but a lot of nationalities view them as the same. The problem is the Jewish lobby also bullies groups, person or persons if they utter or even try to utter a bad word about Israel or people who are Jewish, when if you were Christian you would get no such support..

Only have to do a video search with Adults in occupied lands throwing stones at Palestine children wanting to go home from School, even the last few days settlers firing on Palestines with the military looking on.

I am not saying that Palestines are whiter than white, but when you see children having stones thrown at them from Israeli adults (male and female) you have to step back a bit and think....

I am not German but an open minded Christian.
17:05 May 23, 2012 by IchBinKönig
'but when you see children having stones thrown at them from Israeli adults '

why would those evil israelis throw stones? when those poor children were only coming to offer them Kanafeh. Those evil Israelis. this has been going on for a while, all because of the israelis.. when did the Israelis invent throwing stones?
17:26 May 23, 2012 by gkh50
Ok, simple.

Search this string "Watch how israeli settlers treat the palestinian children (part 1)"

Or this one "Tourists praising the Lord / all hell broke lose! (1 of 2) "

this one, with international withness "Hebron settlers throwing stones at Palestinians "

I rest my case me lord.
17:45 May 23, 2012 by starsh3ro
well the israelis i know are nice and warm people, but their country's politics are for sure not peacefully and treehugging like ours.
17:59 May 23, 2012 by gkh50
@starsh3ro. Agree, I have both Muslim, Jewish friends. But it does not help when people claim Palestine is theirs as God gave it to them 2000 years ago in the Old Testiment which preaches eye for an eye.. I thought mankind moved on in the last 2000 years ago and there was a Jew who they put on a cross 2000 years ago and killed him (if you believe that version of events)

Bit like someone saying that 2000 years ago, some person who wrote a book said this farm is mine. Now go its mine as here is my long lost (very long and lost) uncles bone fragment. That is madder than a box of very mad frogs for justification.
19:24 May 23, 2012 by abemarch
I think there is some confusion concerning anti-Jew and anti-Israeli. Just because one is against a government doesn't mean they are against the people of that country. How many hated Bush yet still loved Americans? The Israeli leadership are not seeking peace. It appears that they are looking for a way to start a war. That in my view is evil, more importantly it takes the spotlight off their inhumanity to the Palestinians. Speaking out is important. Keeping quiet means you don't care. Harboring guilt for things that happened in the past is dumb. Live in the present and speak the truth.
19:26 May 23, 2012 by ITAMAR
Well, we have very good relations with Germany today on scientific , cultural, art, medicine ecc.

The young generation have developed warm relations and students come to Israel from Germany and from Israel groups travel to Germany.

The past can not be wiped out but the future can be worked up and the 2 people do it very well.

today Israelies and Germans can sit and talk on everything and I do not see any difference if a German young person crtic our government or a French man do it.
19:45 May 23, 2012 by Denis MacEoin
When has Israel been an aggressor? In 1948, when seven Arab armies invaded it? In 1967, when more Arab armies tried to do the same? In 1973, when more Arab states tried to overrun its borders? When it went into Gaza after thousands of rockets had been fired into it by radical groups there? In all the years when the Palestinians have used terrorism against the Jewish state, and Israel has fought back? Israel has never invaded other countries, except for retaliation against Hizbollah in Lebanon. To see it as an aggressive is a huge mistake, and it's time people started learning some history.
20:55 May 23, 2012 by acasper
Israel an aggressor? Germany attempted to wipe out the Jewish people. You can't just blame an "outlawed government." The Nazi's may have planned it but the German people let it happen. Face it Germany was anti semitic in the 30's and 40's just like they are in 2012. It makes me embarrassed of my German heritage.
21:08 May 23, 2012 by mkdh
oh this is funny acualy, when israel invaded palestine there was no israel before, they killed palestines people and still kiling them just becuase they want a great israel , this is not just aggrassion, its a whole palestinien peole wiped out on the planet of earth and the world is watching, occupation and the most shame on the modern world.
21:37 May 23, 2012 by tdog1964
As the article said the war has been over for 67 years. The Germans have given enough guilt over the holocaust. It is time to move on.
22:03 May 23, 2012 by wxman
And in other news, 100% of Jews at Dachau viewed Germans as 'aggressive'.
22:49 May 23, 2012 by Kosmonaughty
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
02:51 May 24, 2012 by Eric1
Why so many people view the Israelis as an aggressor is so irrational. The facts show Israel turns the other cheek more than any country. The extreme violence against Israel is open in the streets. Those who think Israelis are the aggressors are the same people who think Jews are to blame for there plight under the Nazis.
03:27 May 24, 2012 by acasper
Dolphin class subs state of the art?? Maybe for a coast guard or if you are talking 1965.
08:58 May 24, 2012 by ericrufinosiah
For accurate figure on the " a large majority " of Germans view Israel as " aggressive ,there should be some sort of breakdown on the German people that

were interview or ' as one must not forget that there is a sizable immigrant population and it's offspring now in Germany.
11:41 May 24, 2012 by MattyB
19:45 May 23, 2012 by Denis MacEoin

Exactly! I seriously doubt most people today in Germany, or America, can truly understand what it is like to be surrounded by tens of millions of people who literally want to kill every member of your ethnic group. Heck, Mein Kampf is still a best seller in places like Egypt. Why? I spent over a year in the Middle East. It is a horribly backwards place, with a religion and culture stuck in the 10th century. Additionally, there is no such thing, nor has there ever been, as a "Palestinian." In fact, the hard truth is the only reason we have these large "Palestinian" refugee territories is because none of their Islamic Arab "brothers" wanted them. Another hard fact, they make up the majority of Jordan's population, but remain feared 2nd class citizens under the power of the minority that rules the nation.
13:02 May 24, 2012 by Kosmonaughty
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
18:50 May 24, 2012 by ITAMAR
Kosmonaughty

Israel has the right to exsist exactly as the Palestinian do,2 states living side by side in peace.

Unfortuntly the Palestinians and the Arabs rejected it for 64 years, Ben Gurion accepted allready on 29.11.47 the 2 states solution,the arabs answer was repeated wars in order to eliminate Israel.

Bringing up the example of right radical small party in
03:45 May 25, 2012 by Mikhael
@Kosmonaughty

RE" seeking Lebensraum at the expense of their neighbors in order to establish Eretz Yisrael (kind of like the Greater German Reich)."

Eretz Yisrael is simply the name that Jews have historically used for thieir homeland for millenia, you can't "establish" Eretz Yisrael--although "Medinat Yisrael" (The State of Israel) has been established since 1948 on a small sliver of Eretz Yisrael.

Re: "the vast majority of Jewish Israelis descend from the Khazars of Central Asia and are not Semites as the propagan"

Well, besides the fact that Israeli Jews have no interest in "Palestine", as this is not a historical term that has resonance for Jews, but an invented name imposed on our homeland first by the Romans and later by the British, the allegation that most Israeli Jews descend principally from the Khazars is devoid of fact. While it's quite possible that *some* Jews of East European background might have *some* Khazar descent, , historical, genetic and linguistic evidence rules out the Khazars as the origin of most Eastern European Jews. The preponderance of DNA evidence suggests that Ashkenazi Jews overwhelmingly share genetic markers common to the Eastern Mediterranean along with with their fellow Jews who never left the Middle East/North Africa region, but other evidence suggests that many Ashkenazi Jews have mitochodrial DNA indicative of Germanic origin most likely inherited from female converts who married Middle Eastern Jewish men in the early Middle Ages, prior to the establishment of Christianity as a state religion and the prohibition on such conversions and unions. It's likely that some of the very few Khazars who converted to Judaism (or their descendants) later married into and were absorbed within preexisting Ashkenazi Jewish populations that later migrated into Eastern Europe, but it's not the origin of their community.

Moreover, even if the discredited Khazar hypothesis was correct, you're ignoring the fact that a majority of Israeli Jews descend from Mizrahi/Sephardi Jewish communities that have always stayed in the Middle East/North Africa. Mizrahi Jews of Israel, whose families returned to Eretz Yisrael from Exile in Arab and Muslim-dominated societies like Iraq, Egypt, Iran, Morocco, Syria, and Yemen, tend to be the most Zionist citizens of Israel.
08:24 May 25, 2012 by MattyB
13:02 May 24, 2012 by Kosmonaughty

A designer virus? Forget to take your meds?

And again, there has never been a "Palestinian" people. However, maybe we should be asking their Arab neighbors why they feel the need to oppress them, and keep them in their less than ideal situation, rather than allowing them to become full members of their societies. I think "Palestinians" make up the majority in Jordan, yet are treated like 2nd class scum. Why? They are not exactly welcomed in Lebanon either, or even in Syria. Why? Yet amazingly, the Arabs who live in Israel have full rights and can vote.
11:39 May 25, 2012 by mobaisch
I am a palestinian.. and I do exist.

If you do not like it.. it is your problem.
13:33 May 25, 2012 by Kosmonaughty
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
14:08 May 25, 2012 by ITAMAR
Kosmonaughty

Do you really suport the 2 states solution?

Hamas which represent 40% of the Palestinian people do not whish to recognize the right of Israel to exsistand call to the destruction of Israel and one state solution in which the majority will be moslems.

Now in Israel are living 6.5 millions Jews and 1 .5 millions Arabs [the majority of them are Moslems],Fatah with Abu Mazen say:" we recognize the right of Israel to exsist inside 67 borders but it will not end here, we demand that all 5 millions Palestinian refuggie who live in Syria, Lebanon,Jordan, and other arabs states will have the right to return to Israel , not to the new Palestinian state but to Israel saying that he wish to wipe Israel demographiclly -does Abu Mazen hope that Israel will accept to commit a demographic suicide-of course not ,he knows exactly that the Jews in Israel are not stupied,

the out come of all this is that the Palestinian have never agreed to 2 states solution and to exsistence of Israel, Hamas says we will free our land with force and push the Jews to the ocean,Fatah is "moderate" and talk on "solution" in 2 stages: first withdrown to 67 borders and then they must agree to accept their demographic devastation.

So we talk now about 3 Palestinian states:

1.Jordan where 90% of population are Palestinian

2.Gazza and west bank where 100% of the population will be Palestinian,as the internal Minister of Palestine said:"no single Jew will be allowed to stay there.

3.Israel will have to be changed demographicl after recieving all millons of Palestinians coming from the arab lands and will become the third Palestinian state.

and the Jewish state where?-the answer is very clear

Just one word Kosmonaugthy

we can make concessions, we evacuated our settlements and army from Eygpt and from Gazza strip, but we are not fools
14:51 May 25, 2012 by Kosmonaughty
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
15:51 May 25, 2012 by greenlee
Not another penny, not another dime. To try and blame the current Germans for the actions of the germans 75+ years ago is a form of COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT and that is against the Geneva convention. Kind of like what Israel is doing today to the Palestinians
16:26 May 25, 2012 by jabulani
YES jewish said "we will never let the world forget" ..they continue playing the victim and trying to give Germany a complex.It is an eye for an eye...and it is MY way or no way. They are bullies...unethical bla bla bla...try to find the documentary done by the well respected John Pilber about Palestine ...the jews tryed to stop the showing in England ...he was send to court and won the case...but of course in "jewish ruled" countries they did not show it...I have a copy if anyone is interested.
17:44 May 25, 2012 by yuri_nahl
Google "the stern gang" . Google "the stern gang"
20:36 May 25, 2012 by ITAMAR
Kosmonaugthy

1.Israel did not create Hamas but Iran did it with its influence, money and weapons.

2.Most Israelies will accept 2 states solution on basis of 67 lines.

3.No Israeli will accept the autodestruction of our states by accepting Abu Mazen demand that all millions of Palestinians will have to return to Israel instead to the Palestinian state.

4.In Israel are living 7 millions citizens from them 6 millions Jews and 1 million Arabs most of them Sunnites other Christian, Druze,Cherques ,Bahai

I do agree with you that if one day the natural demographic situation in Israel will change Israel will have to become a bi national state,untill that happen the principe of 2 different states -a Jewish one and an Arab Palestinian one must prevail, after resolution 141 of the UN from 29.11.47 and also after resolution 242 of the UN that you love to bring up because the first part call to complete withdrown of Israel from occupied territories, but you forget the second part of that resolution which mark the right of Israel to exsist inside secure borders.

And at last tell me please -between 1948 and 1967 the occupied territories were not in Israel hands but in Arab hands, why then have not they build their Palestinian state then? 20 years were not enough?

the right answer is-because the issue was not creating a Palestinian state but destroying Israel and creating one Palestinian state ignoring resolution 141 of the UN
21:33 May 25, 2012 by Sayer
Give it a rest ITAMAR. Germans' perception of Israel is 100% correct. Let my good friend educate you. Check Youtube: "George Galloway explaining to a Jew that they have no right in Palestine" Then ask yourself how many enemies the US had in the Middle East before the Nakba? None. Since then, thanks to Irgun et al, they've grown like mushrooms, and thanks to Zionists like yourself.

My solution is simple: A One State Solution. That state is Palestine. Always was. And will be again. Time to dust off your other passport and polish your resume in English. L'Chaim!
21:37 May 25, 2012 by yuri_nahl
"Chosen People"...rhymes with "Master Race".
05:27 May 26, 2012 by ITAMAR
Sayer

Your "offer" of one Palestinian state is rejected by 6 millions Jews who wish to keep on their small country after resolution 141 of the UN.

Now you have two possibilities:1.to accept the principe of that resolution=2 states solution.

2.to continue what you have done for the last 64 years,which have not bring you a step forwards.

One thing is sure those 6 millions Jews will not dissapear just like that from their land.

And by the way my fellow friend I do not "buy" every public opinion which is published in the Press the question is who did it ,who were the group of people who had to answer it, in which timing it was done? maybe after Marmara ecc, ecc

A common mistake is to regard the American policy in the middle east through

the Israeli "glasses"well after 1945 was the Era of cold war between Russia and USA ,it was all over the world and also in the middle east Russia supported Syria and Eygpt with weapons and money, Britain US and the other European countries did the same with Israel.US and Europe need the Arab oil from the Golf states therefore that region is for vital interests to the west ,Israel is small state which represent a strategic base toUS but many other do the same:Saudia,Quatar,Eygpt,Baharain,Yemen,Jordan.Lybia ecc,the Americans and the Europeans do want to reach a peace treaty in the middle east because they want stability in thee region which is vital for them,another point is the Suess canal they want it open in order to let the tanker shiping from the Indian ocean to the mediteranian sea,Yes Sayer the global political view is not the narrow angle of the Israeli-Palestinian angle...
11:29 May 26, 2012 by Sayer
Pure rubbish, or 'hasbara' as usual. Your premise is all wrong. It is NOT their land. It was land given to atheistic individuals by Britian, when the land belonged to someone else, Palestinians. I am not in a position to have to accept anything. YOU do! Israel will either have to learn to live in peace with its neighbors, along pre-1967 borders, or it will self-destruct by its own stupidity and arrogance. (Which is the prevailing opinion inside the halls of power in Israel too, right now.)

Whether you like it or not, your 'country' which has yet to declare its borders, is reviled worldwide NOT for what you profess as faith, or because of race (which Judaism is not) BUT because of your despicable behavior. Pure and simple. Nobody's asking you to surrender your faith, or your religious practices (as long as they don't hurt anyone else), but the entire world is screaming at your deaf ears to quit your genocide of the Palestinians, and to return to the UN (and US) mandated pre-1967 lines. Until that happens Israel will never, and I mean NEVER, have peace with anyone, least of all itself. It took the Irish almost 700 years to rid themselves of the British, and they did it. It may take the Palestinians a little while longer to rid themselves of the Zionists. But, mark my word, do it they most certainly will. You have to decide, will you leave on a plane, or in a box. "When you make peaceful revolution impossible, you make violent revolution inevitable." (JFK)
14:55 May 26, 2012 by ITAMAR
Sayer

I am sorry you got angry from my post,but we talk almost the same way,I mean 2 states living in peace side by side-or I am wrong? withdrown to 67 lines it will be probably part of the deal,

"Israel will either have to learn to live in peace with its neighbors, along pre-1967 borders," I do agree with that and in the same breath also the Palestinians will have to accept Israel right to exsist.

That the actual government in Israel is right wing I do agree, also I think if Rabin would be alive maybe we could have reached a solution years ago,but also in the Palestinian side there is Hamas and I
17:56 May 26, 2012 by Kosmonaughty
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
09:25 May 27, 2012 by ITAMAR
Kosmonaughty

I allready posted beforethat the distance between the way Sayer think to resolve the issue and the way I think is almost the same,nothing is complicated ,withdrown to 67 borders and 2 states Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace, if Sayer mean it so we speak in the same language and as I said beforethe moderated people both sides must work it up , it is possibile!

Now as somebody who was born in Israel and live among the arab villages, and know the people I must say I do not buy the theory of Mossad involvment in the internal arab or Palestinian politics, the radical islam is a movement a religious one which started in the Shiat corrent of Islam, it does not belong to the Sunnites or to the small Allawit corrent,All Palestinians are Sunnites in their believe, Iran since Komeini revolution try to infiltrate its revolution all over the Islamic world ,in the middle east countries and also in far east countries like Pakistan and Afganistan, Hamas was created from the poverity refuggie camps in Gazza poor people without future without work without national hope ,social secuirity, education were attracted to that Shaid and Shuada promisses of the Islamic Jihad,the Mossad and Israel had no interset to incourage them, they are against our exsistence and making every day our life in south Israel impossibile, they shot missles on our cities and villages hit our civilians,all this in compare to the west bank where in facto there is allready the start of a Palestinian state with democratic government,Hamas won the elections in completly democratic move because it was supported by the poor crowds ,Fatah was too weak there,the fact that Hamas slaughter with cruedlity his Fatah brother shows his nature,

Kosmonaughtry the same was said about Hizballa in Lebanon Israel did not created them but the Shiat movement did.

I do agree with the way you end your post:peace it brings some hope and optimistic mood which we all simple people here need.
17:40 May 27, 2012 by Sastry.M
It appears that after a long forbearance of 67y, the Germans are beginning to learn selectively their individual guilt which was foisted upon them collectively for their Nazi past.
09:06 May 29, 2012 by cynicoren
Of course Germans think Israel is aggressive. They don't live under random missile attacks from Gaza.

Speaking of Palestinian "genocide" - please tell me how many Palestinian civilians Israel killed, and how many Palestinians Hamas and othe Jihadists killed. Hmm, the numbers are similar. I have never heard of genocide that has more civilian casualties on the aggressors (Israeli, of course) side. Maybe we should change dictionaries around the world.

@ Kosmonaughtry and especially @ Sayer - How many gays were executed in Israel (answer = 0). How many were executed in Gaza just for being gay? (answer is >>> 0). You think that Judaism is a bad religion because it may suggest that "Jews are better"? (I don't belive they are). Well how many Muslims and Jews Christians slayed for the beliefs , in the name of their religion? How many Jews and and Christians were (and still are) slayed for their beliefs in the name of Islam? Now, how many Muslim and Christians, Jews, as a force, as a nation or whatever grouping you or other anti-Jews (sorry, anti Israel) consider, killed? (answer = close to zero, and the closest from 2 previous propositions).

Greater Israel - one more anti Israeli lie. 70% of Israelis will be happy to have a peaceful Plaestinian state alongside Israel. Problem is , Paelstinian aren't really peaceful. Check out terror attacks in the 90's. They were the reasons for the building of the wall. Check out the events of 1929 and the massacre of Jews in Hebron, way before there was any Israeli state. Check out Mufti Haj Amin El-Housseni, the Mufti (I hope you Israel-Jews-Palestininans-know-it-alls know what a Mufti is) of Jerusalem, a best friend a guy named Hitler. Read about his plans for the Jews of Palestine. There was no Israel, let me remind you.

Mixed ethnicities state? Ask in Kosovo how did it work out. Let jews immigrate back to Europe? Please remind me, how did it turn out the last century? And the centuries before that? (Pogroms were held many many times since middle ages. No need for Nazis, just an old Jew-hatred). Shlomo Sand is known in Israel as extreme leftist. Research based on genetic facts proves he is wrong.

Ethnic bomb? You could've qouted as well Spiderman comics. If israel has this bomb, why would it need Nuclear subs? Ahhh, to rule the world, of course. 2000 years, and since your pagan forefathers beliefs didn't change.

Please admit, not here, but to yourself : Ich hasse Juden.

BTW, I believe in 2 states for 2 the people. I believe in stopping the settelments. I believe Israeli arabs should be treated as any other Israeli.
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Germany's English-speaking crowd