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EU condemns anti-Jewish bias amid poll
( 2003-11-04 14:16) (Agencies)

The European Union Monday condemned lingering anti-Jewish bias it said was reflected in a new survey, which found that many Europeans see Israel as a threat to world peace.

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, whose country holds the EU presidency, called Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to express his "surprise and indignation" over the survey results, saying the question had been "misleading."

The results "point to the continued existence of a bias that must be condemned out of hand," European Commission President Romano Prodi said in a statement. "To the extent that this may indicate a deeper, more general prejudice against the Jewish world, our repugnance is even more radical."

The EU poll, released Monday after parts were leaked last week, found 59 percent of EU citizens said "yes" when asked if Israel posed "a threat to peace in the world." More than half 53 percent also said "yes" to Iran, North Korea and the United States.

Eleven other countries followed. The Palestinian Authority was not included because it is not considered a country, European Commission spokesman Gerassimos Thomas said.

The survey was conducted on behalf of the Commission, the EU's executive office in Brussels.

Prodi, who is visiting New York, said the survey does not reflect the Commission's thinking and will not affect its Mideast policy.

The telephone survey of 7,515 people was carried out Oct. 8-16 by 15 EOS Gallup Europe institutes. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.


On the Net:

Full survey, Iraq and Peace in the World: http://europa.eu.int/comm/public_opinion/archives/flash_arch.htm

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