We are excited to share with you a report containing the results of our latest study on Czech attitudes towards Israel. The study emerged from a tight collaboration between the Herzl Center for Israel Studies and the Peace Research Center Prague.
Our aim was to assess the attitudes of the Czech public toward Israel, toward Czech-Israeli relations, and toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In this context, we also aimed to learn more about the attitude of Czechs toward the Jewish people.
The survey was conducted in January 2022 in cooperation with the polling company IPSOS on a representative sample of the Czech population (1,004 respondents in total).
This study is the beginning of a larger project whose goal is to map public attitudes toward Israel in Central European countries, particularly in the Visegrad countries (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland) and Germany. We believe that this eventual comparative study will provide interesting insights for academics, journalists, politicians, and the wider public.
You can download the report (available in Czech and English) here.
Czechs declare a more positive attitude toward Israel than toward selected non-Western countries such as Russia, China, Egypt, and others. At the same time, they rank Israel behind the Euro-Atlantic countries including the USA, Germany, and Hungary.
Regarding Czech-Israeli relations, more than two-thirds of Czechs consider them good. However, most Czechs are generally not very interested in information about Israel (64%).
Considering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to our respondents, both nations bear an equal share of the responsibility for the conflict. Overall, however, pro-Israeli views tend to prevail over pro-Palestinian ones in Czech society. In terms of possible solutions to the conflict, Czechs are most often inclined toward the “two-state solution” (45%) and international recognition of Palestine (37%). However, when it comes to the Czech Republic's role in international organizations, Czechs are more inclined to support Israel than Palestine.
Czechs are reluctant to address the issue of Israel's security in the wider Middle East region and the possible use of nuclear weapons, which has become a recurring topic in expert debates in the context of the war in Ukraine. Most of the Czech population believes that there is no legitimate reason for Israel's use of nuclear weapons, and more Czechs also reject than approve even preemptive attacks against Iran.
Most of the Czech population (83%) agrees that they would not mind having a Jew as a neighbor. Almost two-thirds of Czechs (61%) think that the Holocaust is still a topic that needs to be remembered, and almost a quarter also admit that Czechs bear some responsibility for the suffering of Jews during World War II. Concurrently, strong positive and negative stereotypes about Jews persist in Czech society.
It should be emphasized that Czech society, in general, does not have an opinion on substantive questions about Israel or does not know how to answer them.