Survey suggests Latvian residents have no broad consensus on Gaza question

There exists no overwhelming consensus on the situation in Gaza and Israel's reaction to attacks by Hamas terrorists, according to a survey conducted by research agency "Norstat" in December on behalf of

The survey of 1,010 Latvian residents was conducted via the internet and the results are probably not very surprising as opinion worldwide is also rather divided and not necessarily based on a deep understanding of the history and politics of the region.

12% of online respondents said they strongly supported Israel's military response in Gaza and another 16% said they generally supported it, making a total of 28%.

20% of respondents said they strongly disapproved of Israel's response, while 11% said they generally disapproved, making 31%.

Both camps were outweighed by the combined total of those taking the time to record a response of neither supporting nor opposing Israel's actions (19%) or the most popular answer of all, 'I don't know' (22%). Together, these responses account for 41%.   




The survey data shows differences in the assessment of different generations, according to Toms Rātfelders, a researcher at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs, who specializes in the international relations of the Middle East.

"Older people and middle-aged people choose a position that is more supportive [of Israel]. And we have seen such stratification not only in Latvia, but also elsewhere in Europe and also in the USA," said Rātfelders.

Rātfelders pointed out that even though nowadays a significant part of society gets most of its current affairs information from social networks, it is still recommended to look for basic knowledge in well-known and credible media.

"When I read a media outlet, I try to understand what position I would most likely expect from that media outlet. If I were to read, say, the Times of Israel, I would most likely expect a pro-Israel opinion from those sources. "Again, I expect a more pro-Palestinian position in Al Jazeera or the Turkish media. I think you should read both to understand the truth, which is somewhere in the middle," he said.

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