Survey: one-third of Germans equate Israeli and Nazi policies

Ben Sales

BERLIN (JTA) — A new study of German attitudes toward Israel showed an increase in Israel-related anti-Semitism among Germans.

The survey found that while many Germans would prefer not to discuss the Holocaust, they are willing to compare Israeli policies toward Palestinians today with those of Nazi Germany.

Called “Germany and Israel Today: Linked by the Past, Divided by the Present?” the study was conducted by the German Bertelsmann Foundation in October 2014 and released on Monday, one day before International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

In one of the findings, 35 percent of German respondents, up from 30 percent in 2007, equate Israeli policies towards the Palestinians with Nazi policies towards the Jews – a view more likely among less educated respondents, according to a press statement accompanying the study.

In addition, 36 percent of Germans view Israel favorably, while 48 percent hold a negative view of Israel. A majority of Germans ages 18 to 29 view Israel negatively.

Regarding the Holocaust, 58 percent of Germans said it was time to put the past behind them, while 38 percent disagreed.

Stephan Vopel, the Bertelsmann Foundation’s expert on Israel, said the study showed an increased need for “direct encounters between young people from both countries.”

The survey was conducted by polling firm TNS Emnid through telephone interviews with 1,000 Germans ages 18 and over. The margin of error is 3 percent.