Pew survey found many countries view climate change as top global threat; concern with radical Islamist threats higher in Middle East, Europe, North America.

Israelis are most worried about the threats posed by Iran and the Islamic State, according to a survey recently conducted by the Pew Research Center.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s repeated warnings of the Iranian threat made quite an impression on Israelis, as 53 percent said they found Iran to be the biggest cause for concern, while 44 percent said they are most concerned with the threat posed by the Islamic State.

When looking at the different sectors in Israel, Jews (59 percent) were more concerned with Tehran’s race towards a nuclear bomb than Arabs (23 percent).

Iran's nuclear threat biggest concern to Israelis (Photo: EPA)
Iran’s nuclear threat biggest concern to Israelis (Photo: EPA)


Among the other causes for concern among Israelis: 28 percent said they were worried about global economic instability, 18 percent about cyber attacks, six percent said the tensions between Russia and its neighbors and three percent were worried of the territorial disputes between China and its neighbors.

The poll found that citizens of many countries, mostly in Africa and Latin America, found global climate change to be the top global threat, while only 14 percent of Israelis were concerned about it.

But Israel was not alone in its concern over the threat posed by extremist Islamists. Many countries in the Middle East, Europe and the Americas listed the Islamic State as their top concern.

In the United States, for example, 68 percent said the Islamic State was the biggest global threat, while 62 percent said they are concerned with Iran’s nuclear program. In neighboring Canada, 58 percent were most concerned about the Islamic State, 43 percent were worried about Iran and 45 listed global climate change as the world’s top worry.

ISIS execution in Palmyra, Syria
ISIS execution in Palmyra, Syria


Residents of 14 countries put the Islamic State as their top concern: 70 percent of Europeans expressed “top concern” of the Sunni terror organization that has been capturing territories for a caliphate in Iraq and Syria. Within the European continent, the Spaniards were the ones most concerned about the Islamic State (77 percent), while in Poland, the ISIS threat is secondary, with the tensions between Russia and its neighbors being the Polish people’s top concern.

Naturally, in the Middle East the concern from ISIS is highest. In Lebanon, for example, 84 percent noted ISIS was their top concern. Meanwhile, 90 percent of the Sunni Muslims and 87 percent of the Shiites in the country view ISIS as the biggest threat, compared to 76 percent of Christians.

In Jordan, 62 percent of the public were concerned about ISIS, while in the Palestinian Authority – 54 percent. In Turkey, which suffers from spillover of the Syria civil war into its territory and an endless stream of refugees, 33 percent were worried about ISIS.

Other countries that noted ISIS as one of the biggest threats are South Korea (75 percent), Japan (72 percent), Australia (69 percent) and Indonesia (65 percent).

The poll was held over the course of two months, from March 25, 2015 to May 27, 2015. It spanned across 40 countries and included 45,435 respondents.

As reported by Ynetnews