Daud Abdullah writes:
In Europe, Israel has historically enjoyed a high level of support, not least because it was perceived as a progressive democracy in a sea of Arab backwardness. At the same time, most Europeans knew very little about the Israel-Palestine conflict: as recently as 2004, the Glasgow University Media Group found that only 9% of British students knew that the Israelis were the illegal occupiers of Palestinian land. Astonishingly, there were actually more people (11%) who believed that the Palestinians were occupying the territories.
However, according to a new poll by ICM for the Middle East Monitor, Europeans’ perception of Israel has changed decisively, and their understanding of the Israel-Palestine conflict, while still giving some cause for concern, has improved significantly. The survey of 7,000 people in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Britain reveals only a small minority (10%) now believe their countries should support Israel rather than the Palestinians, while many more, 39%, think they should not.