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Israel 'threat' survey sparks ire - BBC, UK

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  • Zafar Khan
    Israel threat survey sparks ire http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3237277.stm Senior Israeli figures are divided over the importance of a European
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3, 2003
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      Israel 'threat' survey sparks ire

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3237277.stm

      Senior Israeli figures are divided over the importance
      of a European survey labelling their country the
      greatest threat to world peace.

      Nearly 60% of Europeans said yes when asked in a
      Eurobarometer survey if Israel presents a threat to
      peace.

      The survey put Israel ahead of Iran, North Korea and
      the US, each of which polled 53%.

      An EU spokesman said the poll results would not affect
      European policy-making in the short term.

      Israeli Minister Natan Sharansky said the results
      showed the EU engaged in "rampant brainwashing".

      "The European Union, which shows sensitivity on human
      rights issues, would do well to stop the... demonising
      of Israel before Europe deteriorates once again to
      dark sections of its past," the Diaspora affairs
      minister said.

      But Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom appeared less
      disturbed by the findings.

      He said the poll findings reflect the greater press
      coverage of Israel than of states such as Iran and
      North Korea.

      "There's no comparing the amount of media exposure
      Israel gets in Europe compared to Iran or North Korea.
      The images broadcast from here have an impact, but we
      should not get exerted by it," he told the Israeli
      daily Haaretz.

      He said a poll published a month ago suggested
      Israel's image was improving in Europe.

      "But who cares about such polls?" he asked, saying
      that negative findings tended to get greater
      prominence than positive ones.

      "One need not dramatise every poll and there's no need
      for bile," he said.

      No policy change

      An EU spokesman also played down the importance of the
      survey.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      A THREAT TO PEACE?
      Israel 59%
      Iran, North Korea, US 53%
      Iraq 52%
      Afghanistan 48%
      Percentage who replied "Yes" to each country
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      "We don't put excessive emphasis on one poll result,"
      the spokesman, Gerassimos Thomas, told the Associated
      Press, adding that it would not affect EU
      decision-making.

      "Policy is defined on the basis of a number of factors
      and a number of inputs," he said.

      But the BBC's Tim Franks in Brussels says the findings
      may reduce European diplomats' effectiveness in
      dealing with the Israel-Palestinian conflict by
      heightening Israeli distrust of the EU.

      The Palestinian Authority was not included in the poll
      because the EU does not consider it a country.

      The survey of 7,515 people in the 15 EU countries was
      carried out between 8 and 16 October.

      Respondents were asked to say whether or not each
      country on a list represented a threat to world peace.





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