Israel has 0ver the past year received more praise than usual from European governments. This is due on the one hand to the peace agreements with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, and on the other hand to the Jewish state’s successful vaccination policy. A current survey in the EU countries, carried out by the UK-based research group YouGov, confirms the trend. The survey examines the behavior and popularity of countries around the world.
On average, Israel’s popularity in Europe has increased by 8 percent. The increase was most pronounced in France, where Israel’s popularity jumped by as much as 50 percent. Israel is currently 17 percent more popular in Germany and 25 percent more popular in the UK. While Western governments pat Israel on the back in appreciation for its vaccination policy, there is increasing criticism from the ranks of the Jewish state’s Christian friends. (See: Now Let’s Be Honest: An Open Letter From Our Editor)
Not only did respondents praise Israel’s vaccination policy, they also expressed great respect for the Jewish state’s contribution to science, technology, water and tourism. No other country has grown in popularity like this. According to YouGov, other countries’ popularity has either decreased or stayed the same. One example is Russia, whose popularity fell from 21 percent to 16 percent, as did the UK, which fell from 65 percent to 60 percent.
At the same time, European interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has fallen dramatically. In 2020, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict aroused strong interest from just 35 percent of Europeans, as opposed to 42 percent in 2019 and 68 percent in 2008.
People abroad seem to have grown tired of a conflict to which they see no end. Meanwhile, they see Israel making great progress with various Arab states, and everyone begins to understand that Jerusalem does want and is capable of achieving peace with its neighbors. As such, the stagnation in the Israeli-Palestinian process has more to do with the Palestinian position. “Europe understands Israel’s values as an anchor of stability and security in the Middle East. In addition, Europe sees Israel’s enormous commitment to technology, health and the fight against the coronavirus,” said Israel Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.