Despite common conceptions in Israel that France is perhaps Europe's most anti-Israel country, a poll conducted last week showed that 74% of French citizens don't sympathize with either Israelis or Palestinians more than the other in the current conflict in Gaza.
According to the study conducted by the Ifop Institue, when asked the question - "In the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, which side gets your sympathy?" - only 17% answered in support of the Palestinians while 9% said that Israel had their backing. The vast majority answered with, "Neither one of the sides."
Pro-Palestinian protests in France often turned violent during Operation Protective Edge. (Photo: AFP)
The Institue suggested that the results come from a mix of lack of interest in the conflict and the fact that the French nation is currently trying to decide whether the Israelis or the Palestinians are the true victims.
The Institue said that, "Despite the expansive coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the media, which includes shocking images, and despite propoganda efforts from both sides, the views in France don't lean substantially to one side or the other."
According to the survey, the stance of a French citizen depends largely on his or her political leanings. Among those who consider themselves to be left of center politically, 28% expressed sympathy towards the Palestinian cause while just 6% said the same of Israel.
Pro-Israel rallies were also held in France over the last few weeks. (Photo: Reuters)
On the other side of the aisle however, 14% of those considered right of center expressed solidarity with Israel and 13% said that they Palestinians are in the right.
France's growing Muslim population is one possible reason for the Israeli perception that France is one of Europe's most anti-Semitic locations. Another reason would be the outspoken activism from the French left - supporters of the Palestinians.
Operation Protective Edge has motivated several massive demonstrations across Europe but particularly in France, most of which have been against Israeli military action.
Several of the protests in France turned violent over the last few weeks causing the French government to ban demonstrations regarding the operation in the Gaza Strip.