NEW YORK, N.Y.—Antisemitic attitudes in ten European countries remain at “disturbingly high levels,” according to a new poll from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released on Tuesday, March 20, with large swaths of the population subscribing to classical antisemitic notions such as Jews having too much power in business, being more loyal to Israel than their own country, or “talking too much” about what happened during the Holocaust.
Attitudes toward Jews in ten European Countries, an ADL opinion survey of 5,000 adults – 500 in each of ten European countries – revealed that pernicious antisemitic beliefs continue to be held by nearly one-third of those surveyed.
The poll was conducted between Jan. 2-31, 2012 in Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom.
“The survey is disturbing by the fact that antisemitism remains at high levels across the continent and infects many Europeans at a much higher level than we see here in the United States,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director. “In Hungary, Spain and Poland the numbers for antisemitic attitudes are literally off-the-charts and demand a serious response from political, civic and religious leaders.”
In France, where a shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse on Monday claimed the lives of four people, the overall level of antisemitism increased to 24 percent of the population, an increase from 20 percent from 2009. In France, 45 percent of respondents attributed the violence against European Jews to anti-Jewish feelings, an increase from 39 percent in 2009.
Other findings for France include: 45 percent of the population responded “probably true” to the statement “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country”; 35 percent agreed that “Jews have too much power in the business world”; and 24 percent believe that “Jews still talk too much about what happened to them during the Holocaust.”
When asked for their opinion about antisemitic violence directed against Jews, and whether that violence is the result of anti-Jewish feelings as opposed to anti-Israel sentiment, overall, 39 percent of Europeans responded that it was the result of anti-Jewish sentiments. “In France, you have a volatile mix,” Foxman said. “France has seen an increase in the level of antisemitism. At the same time, more people today believe that violence directed against European Jews is fueled by anti-Jewish attitudes as opposed to anti-Israel sentiment. “Those increases are all the more disturbing in light of the shooting attack at the Jewish school in Toulouse.”
In comparison with a similar ADL poll conducted in 2009, several of the countries showed dangerously high levels in the overall level of anti-Semitism, while other countries experienced more modest increases.
For details of the ADL survey visit www.adl.org.