A new poll shows that Europeans are starting to wake up to the fact that the situation in Europe and the situation in Israel might not be so different. Demography wise, according to an article on Islam Online, Muslim youth constitute 16%-20% of EU youth, meaning that by the next generation, Europe and Israel will have the same percentage of Muslim population.
New public opinion surveys conducted among "opinion elites" in Europe show that support for the Palestinians has fallen precipitously, according to a leading international pollster, Stan Greenberg, who has been briefing Israeli leaders on his findings in the past few days. There has not necessarily been "a rush to Israel" but there has been a "crash" in backing for the Palestinians, he noted.
Greenberg, a key pollster for president Clinton who also worked with former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, conducted the surveys for the Israel Project, a US-based non-profit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel.
Greenberg told The Jerusalem Post that the shifts in attitudes reflected in the surveys were so dramatic that he "redid" some of the polls to ensure there had been no error.
He singled out France as the country where attitudes had changed most dramatically. Three years ago, 60 percent of French respondents said they took a side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and of that 60%, four out of five backed the Palestinians. Today, by contrast, 60% of French respondents did not take a side in the conflict, and support for the Palestinians had dropped by half among those who did express a preference.
Greenberg said the figures were still being finalized, and so did not go into further details. But shifts such as these, he said, represented "an incredible pace of change," with significant consequences.
At the root of the change, said Greenberg, was a fundamental remaking in Europe of the "framework" through which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is viewed.
Three years ago, he said, the conflict was perceived "in a post-colonial framework."
Today, by contrast, the Europeans "are focused on fundamentalist Islam and its impact on them," he said. The Europeans were now asking themselves "who is the moderate in this conflict, and who is the extremist? And suddenly it is the Palestinians who may be the extremists, or who are allied with extremists who threaten Europe's own society."
Source: Jerusalem Post (English)