Despite considerable efforts at hasbara, Europeans believe Israel & Hamas share responsibility for the last round of violence, with 53% of Germans blaming Israel for escalation compared to only 39% in the UK.
Public opinion polls conducted by the Foreign Ministry in Europe’s three most important countries – the United Kingdom, Germany and France – reveal that its residents hold Israel and Hamas responsible in equal degree for the latest bout of violence in the Gaza Strip.
|Pro-Israel supporters protest to free Gaza from Hamas-rule|
in front of Israel’s embassy in Vienna, Austria.
Well, that makes sense, right? I mean the IDF didn't need to return fire - they could have just let Hamas keep shooting rockets into Israel and digging hundreds more tunnels with which to attack Israel.
The polls were conducted by the Foreign Ministry’s Public Diplomacy Division in an attempt to evaluate how Israel’s public relations efforts to disseminate positive information abroad, known as “hasbarah” are being received, and whether there is a need to change or adapt them to different audiences.
The poll found that half of those surveyed in each of the countries said that they had been regularly exposed to the news coverage of the Gaza conflict, 10% of which who said that they tuned in closely. Eighty percent of the respondents in the three countries were aware of the news coverage of Operation Protective Edge in one way or another.
The majority of respondents in the three countries said both Israel and Hamas are to blame for the escalation in the Gaza Strip. Fifty three percent of Germans believe that both Israel and Hamas were at fault for the latest round of hostilities – an opinion shared by 47% of the French population and 39% of the British public.
Fifteen percent of Germans, 15% of the French and 19% of UK respondents lay the blame solely on Hamas. At the same time, 8% of Germans, 11% of the French public and 19% of the British think Israel bears sole blame for the recent violence.
Are you kidding me? The same number of Brits think Israel is to blame as think Hamas is to blame. Were the news networks actually covering the war? Israel's only ambition is to survive. Hamas' only ambition is to destroy Israel. What else do you need to know?
Approximately half of the respondents in each of the three countries believe that Hamas uses its own Palestinian citizens as human shields, including 49% of Germans, 48% of the French people and 51% of the British.
The survey further revealed that the respondents think both the IDF’s use of disproportionate force and Hamas’s use of civilians to protect it from Israel’s attacks are to blame for the death of Palestinian civilians.
Eighteen percent of the German population, 20% of the French and 26% of the British accept the Palestinian claim that IDF troops did not use measures to protect Palestinian civilians, a very problematic piece of data in terms of Israeli hasbara.
Again, is this a bias in the news reporting in Europe? Did they not report that the IDF regularly dropped leaflets telling people to evacuate certain buildings long before they attacked them? Did they not report that the IDF called and texted people in those building and told them to get out?
They went to extraordinary measures to try and spare Gaza civilians, but were often countered by Hamas, who wanted many casualties to blame on Israel. They often used school yards, hospitals as launching areas for their missiles, knowing that the IDF would respond. For Hamas the more casualties the better. They care not if their people live or die as long as they can eliminate the Jews. They want to finish Hitler's legacy.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said in response to the survey’s finding that “the Foreign Ministry is keeping its finger on the pulse. The Israeli message is seeping through and is being taken in by the target populations. The Foreign Ministry is constantly drawing conclusions and sharpening Israel’s messages abroad.”