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In light of the IDF operation in Gaza, a Forsa Institute opinion poll commissioned by the German magazine Der Stern found that 49% of those questioned viewed Israel as an "aggressive" country, and that 59% felt it ruthlessly pursues its interests.
The results of the survey were published on Wednesday and sampled the views of 1,000 Germans on January 8.
The poll found that 13% of the respondents rejected Israel's right to exist as a state, and that 60% rejected the "special relationship" Germany has with the Jewish state due to the Holocaust. An opinion poll conducted by others a little less than a year ago found that 52% of the respondents felt this way.
The Forsa survey found that the proportion who felt that Germany had no obligation to Israel reached 70% among younger Germans, something Forsa Institute head Manfred Guellner called a "dangerous development."
While visiting Israel in March, 2008, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany had a "historic responsibility" to the Jewish state and called it a "fundamental policy."
"It means that for me, as a German chancellor, Israel's security is non-negotiable," Merkel said.
Regarding the IDF operation in Gaza, 30% of those surveyed said Hamas was responsible for the outbreak of violence, while 13% called Israel the guilty party. Hamas and Israel were viewed as being equally responsible by 35% of those polled.
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