Poll controversy as Israel and US labelled biggest threats to World peace

Europeans believe the US contributes the most to world instability along with Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and North Korea (Photo: Marit Ruuda)

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Over half of Europeans think that Israel now presents the biggest threat to world peace according to a controversial poll requested by the European Commission.

According to the same survey, Europeans believe the United States contributes the most to world instability along with Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and North Korea.

The specially commissioned poll which asked citizens 15 questions on "the reconstruction of Iraq, the conflict in the Middle East and World peace", has caused controversy in Brussels.

The European Commission is coming under fire for publishing the results of a number of questions - relating to Iraqi reconstruction - while failing to publish the results which revealed the extent of mistrust of Israel and the United States in Europe.

A Commission spokesperson today (30 October) denied that the decision to withhold some of the results until next Monday was politically motivated, adding that some of the results not yet published are still "unstable".

He did, however, add that a decision was made to publish a preview of the questions pertaining to the reconstruction of Iraq, to coincide with the Iraqi donors conference in Madrid, which took place at the end of last week.

This admission has raised questions about whether the Commission sought to suppress the results which would have came at a particularly sensitive moment.

One pollster involved in the survey told the EUobserver that some questions being raised about the poll were unfounded.

"The questions were decided upon by both the polling organisations and the European Commission", the source said.

Israeli officials dismissed the results of the poll as propaganda.

According to El Pais, a massive 59 percent of Europeans said they believed that Israel is the biggest obstacle to world peace.

The poll, conducted by Taylor Nelson Sofres/ EOS Gallup Europe, was conducted between 8 and 16 of October.

Press Articles  La Libre Belgique  

Written by Andrew Beatty

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Americans split on changing Mideast policy  - poll
    NEW YORK, Oct 6 (Reuters) _ Americans are split on whether 
the United States should change its Middle East policies after 
the Sept. 11 attacks, with 63 percent saying reducing ties to 
Israel would not affect the scope of terrorism directed at 
America, a Newsweek poll showed on Saturday. 
    The poll showed 58 percent of Americans surveyed saw U.S. 
ties to Israel and its policies toward the Palestinians as a 
major motivation behind the attacks on New York and Washington. 
That figure was down from 68 percent last month. 
    Forty-six percent said the United States should consider 
changing its Middle East policies to reduce the violent 
backlash against it, while 43 percent said it should not. 
    The 1,002 respondents surveyed on Thursday and Friday also 
were divided on whether the United States should favor creating 
a Palestinian state at this time, with 39 percent saying no, 33 
percent saying yes and 28 percent saying they did not know. 
    Majorities said the United States gave too much aid to 
countries in the region last year: 52 percent said $2.8 billion 
to Israel was excessive, 55 percent had the same objection to 
the $2.2 billion given to Egypt and 56 percent to the $80 
million given to the Palestinian Authority. 
    President George W. Bush continued to get high marks for 
his handling of the crisis -- 88 percent -- but the public 
expressed more confidence in Secretary of State Colin Powell to 
deal with the situation (75 percent) than either Bush (65 
percent) or Vice President Dick Cheney (50 percent). 
    The poll, conducted by Princeton Survey Research 
Associates, had a margin of error of plus or minus three 
percentage points. 

06 OCT 2001 15:56:01
Americans split on changing Mideast policy -poll