Report says anti-Semitism on the rise in Europe

WASHINGTON — Days after a lone gunman murdered a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, … Continued

WASHINGTON — Days after a lone gunman murdered a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, a new study reports widespread anti-Semitism in France and across Europe.

The survey, completed in January and released Tuesday by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League, finds that 24 percent of the French population holds anti-Semitic views, up from 20 percent in 2009.

When asked if violence against Jews is rooted in anti-Jewish or anti-Israel sentiment, four in 10 Europeans (39 percent) responded that it was the result of anti-Jewish sentiment.

In France, 45 percent of those asked held this view, up from 39 percent in the previous survey.

“Those increases are all the more disturbing in light of the shooting attack at the Jewish school in Toulouse,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director of the Monday (March 19) shootings in France.

About half a million Jews live in France, less than 1 percent of the population and the largest Jewish population in western Europe.

The survey of 5,000 Europeans across 10 countries also asked whether Jews are more loyal to Israel than their own country, wield too much power in the business world, and talk too much about the Holocaust.

The survey found particularly high levels of anti-Semitism in three nations.

“In Hungary, Spain and Poland, the numbers for anti-Semitic attitudes are literally off the charts and demand a serious response from political, civic and religious leaders,” said Foxman.

— In Spain, where Jewish civic groups say Spaniards blame their economic woes on the country’s Jews, 72 percent of the population holds anti-Jewish views, compared with 64 percent in 2009.

— In Hungary, 63 percent of the population holds anti-Semitic views, up from 47 percent in 2009.

— In Poland, 48 percent show anti-Semitic attitudes, about the same as 2009.

By comparison, attitudes toward Jews in the United States are far more positive. The most recent ADL study, completed in October, found 15 percent of the population holds anti-Semitic views.

Still, nearly one in five Americans at the time said Jews probably have too much influence on Wall Street, a significant uptick from the previous study. As in other countries, tough economic times in the U.S foment age-old myths about Jewish control of the economy, the authors said.

About 6.5 million Jews live in the United States, about 2 percent of the population. The European survey has a margin of error of between 4.4 and 4.9 percentage points, depending on the country.

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  • Fred_W

    One would have to know what the questions were before putting much credence in the report. For example, if a person answered yes to “Do Jews have too much influence on Wall Street?”, that would not be a sign of not liking Jews (I guess that’s what anti-semitism is) than saying that Americans have too much influence in world affairs would be a sign that a person doesn’t like Americans. Another example: is thinking Saudis have too much influence on oil prices a sign that on dislikes Saudis?

    I’d like to see all the questions asked in the poll.

  • sanman2

    Nonsense – when sentiments of “too much power” focus around specific ethnicities, then of course these sentiments are antagonistic towards them. Why worry about how many Jews there are in Wall Street, as opposed to how many Catholics? Why single out one group while giving others a free pass? Your reasoning skills seem to be poor.

    What ethnicity are you? I bet if such surveys showed the people feel your ethnic group has too much power, then you’ll feel hurt, offended and worried. But then you don’t believe that others should feel the same way?

  • saladodaniel

    What an inbelievle report! What an invelieble study! At least about Spain. The report says spaniards put the blame on Jews about their economc problems. Who has made that study? Spaniards are not thinking about jew or any other religious or racial group at all, of course is a big nonsense.

    Most of spaniards are against the Israel policy on palestinians. Of course, spaniards distinguish perfectly between jews and Israel policy. Jews were part of this country since many centuries ago (they were expeled from Spain in 1492 by the Kings of Spain, at the same time Colon was travelling to America). They are a important part of Spain’s culture. No more coments.