US/World News

Poll: Arab countries more positive toward Israel, skeptical of Iran

(Israel Hayom via JNS) Polls about attitudes towards Israel that the Foreign Ministry conducts worldwide indicate that on average, 75 percent of respondents believe that ties with Israel can be beneficial to their countries. Conducted on a regular basis to determine world opinion vis a vis Israel, the poll is carried out by professional pollsters and respondents are not informed that the polls were initiated by Israel.

Polls conducted in Arab countries at the end of 2018 checked to what extent respondents wanted their countries to have ties with Israel. Forty-three percent of Iraqis, 42 percent Emiratis and 41 percent of Moroccans polled said they were in favor of ties between their nations and Israel. More than one-third of Iranians (34 percent) said they were in favor of ties with Israel, as did 32 percent of Tunisians and 21 percent of Algerians polled.

Respondents were also asked whether they saw the Palestinian Authority as the main obstacle to Middle East peace. In many of the countries polled, over half of respondents had no opinion. In the Middle East, 18 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that the P.A. was a roadblock to regional peace, 29 percent disagreed, and 53 percent saod they had no opinion; in Western Europe, 24 percent of respondents agreed and 24 percent disagreed, and 52 percent had no opinion; in North America, 30 percent agreed and 19 percent disagreed, with 51 percent saying they had no opinion.

When asked whether or not they believed that Iran had stopped its program to develop nuclear weapons, 34 percent of Western Europeans, 33 percent of North Americans, and 43 percent of Middle Easterners said no. 

A senior official in the Foreign Ministry said the figures indicate that attitude toward Israel in the world is remaining positive and steady. “When it comes to the Palestinians, the important figure is actually how uninterested the global public is in the conflict. On the other hand, Israel is seen as a country with which having relations is worthwhile. It’s a positive trend because people are seeing Israel’s strengths,” the official added.

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