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New EU poll shows higher support for Israel among Eastern European parliament members compared to Western counterparts

People participate in the annual March of Life event in Warsaw, holding Israeli and Polish flags along with placards saying "Israel you are not alone" during the event held in connection with the celebration of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Warsaw, Poland, Apr. 28, 2024 (Photo: Volha Shukaila/SOPA Images via Reuters)

As elections to the European Parliament draw closer, the European Coalition for Israel (ECI) recently published a new European Union (EU) survey they conducted, analyzing voting records in the European Parliament from 2019 to 2024. The survey analyzes the attitudes toward Israel across various countries and political parties in the EU.

“Central and Eastern European member countries who have lived under totalitarian rule are more supportive of Israel than EU member states in Western Europe. The same applies for parties on the political right who are more likely to align with Israel than those on the political left,” the ECI stated in a press release.

The ECI continued: “The results do not come as a surprise for anyone who has monitored EU policies on Israel in recent years but give nevertheless hard evidence to that which in the past has mainly been general assumptions.”

A closer look at the numbers in the report reveals that the average support for Israel among most Western European countries hovers around 50%, with Germany showing roughly 55% support and Spain at 46%. Ireland ranks lowest with only 23% support, followed by Malta and Cyprus, both under 40%.

On the other hand, support for Israel is much higher in Eastern Europe, with "Visegrad Alliance" (V4) nations – Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary – taking the lead with support for Israel as high as 76%, 68%, 58% and 71% respectively. Support for Israel is notably high in Italy (68%) and Austria (63%).

Looking at individual political parties, the figures show support for Israel before and after Oct. 7 for each party represented in the EU Parliament. Because there are many parties, it’s a nine-page document.

It’s no surprise that there appears to be greater support in the more right-wing conservative political parties, specifically those belonging to the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and Identity and Democracy (ID) groups, with most above 80%. Support from the parties of the Christian conservative European People's Party (EPP) group ranges from 60% to 75%.

The political parties from the liberal Renew group have Israel-support figures ranging from as high as 76% to as low as 40%.

Among the socialist parties, the Romanian group is the most supportive of Israel, with 60% backing. Some socialist parties show as little as 27% support. Finally, the far-left environmentalist green parties and other far-left groups generally have the least support for Israel, with the German Green Party showing the highest at 45%, and the Irish far-left the lowest at less than 8%.

However, even the figures from the far-left, most Israel-critical groups, tell an intriguing story – their support for Israel increased dramatically after Oct. 7th. For instance, the Irish left party, while at the bottom of this survey with less than 8% support, was at just 2.3% before Oct. 7th. The Swedish left party's support rose from 5% to 15%. Among the parties making the largest "jumps" following Oct. 7th, a liberal German party increased from 55% to 72%, and an Austrian Green party from 26% to 40%.

We need to remember that the results are based on voting patterns from EU politicians and may not necessarily reflect the attitudes of the people on the street. Remembering that the EU is standing fully on Ukraine’s side against Putin – and knowing that Putin has an alliance with Iran and Hamas – probably also helps cement Israel-positive attitudes among EU politicians.

The question is whether this pattern of increased support for Israel will continue after the elections in June.

“Apart from measuring votes in relations to Israel the survey also looks at attitudes to the Islamic Republic of Iran which on Sunday opened a direct front against Israel by attacking the Jewish state directly from within its own territory,” the ECI press release continued.

“On Wednesday and Thursday, EU leaders gathered for a two-day summit in Brussels and took additional measures to sanction Iran and all those who provide them with missiles and drones but failed to ban the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) despite pressure from some member countries to do so."

The press release continued: "Leading the way for banning the IRGC was the largest party block in the European Parliament, the European People’s Party (EPP), which demanded tougher measures against Iran as a response to the attack. Earlier in the week leading MEP David Lega from the EPP group spelled out the new policies in the European Report stating that 'soft policies did not get us anywhere with Putin, neither will they help us with the Islamic Republic of Iran.' Instead he required that both the IRGC and Hezbollah in its entirety should be designated as terrorist organisations."

"Deputies such as David Lega on the right have consistently been asking for a ban of IRGC whereas this has been opposed by the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell and others on the political left.”

The strength, but also weakness, of the EU, is that no group ever has a majority, so every legislation and resolution must be made through dialogue and compromise. This means that a wide consensus is needed for action to take place, which makes it difficult to move in a positive direction when many members of the EU parliament sympathize with the Palestinian cause.

Nevertheless, the ECI makes a tremendous effort to engage with people on the left and position Israel as a multi-partisan issue. The attitudes of individual members of the EU Parliament play a critical role

In its press release, the ECI stated: “Commenting on the results in Brussels on Thursday evening, ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell clarified that ECI is working to ensure that Israel will have support from across the political spectrum but in order to reach this goal we need to establish the current positions of the various political parties"

"Emphasising the critical role of individual members of the European Parliament not only in casting their votes but also in taking the floor and actively standing up for the Jewish state he thanked the outgoing Chair and Vice-Chair of the European Parliament delegation to Israel, Antonio López-Istúriz White (EPP) and Bert-Jan Ruissen (ECR) respectively who have been consistent defenders of Israel throughout the five-year term.”

If you’re a citizen of an EU member country, please look up your local candidates and research how they have voted in the past, and what they have said about Israel. You might be surprised and find Israel-positive candidates from the center-left political spectrum as well. Whether you vote left or right, vote for those who dare to stand up for Israel’s right to exist and defend itself, and who will dare to stand up against Iran and Putin. We need courageous people in leadership roles in these days.

Tuvia is a Jewish history nerd who lives in Jerusalem and believes in Jesus. He writes articles and stories about Jewish and Christian history. His website is

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