Anti-Semitism & Holocaust

ADL: 30% of Europeans have Anti-Semitic Biases

The Jerusalem Post Staff - June 30, 2002

Thirty percent of Europeans cling to traditional anti-Jewish stereotypes, while 62% believe the recent violence against Jews is the result of anti-Israel sentiment, according to an Anti-Defamation League opinion survey.

"European Attitudes Toward Jews, Israel, and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict," a survey of 2,500 people 500 each in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, and the UK was conducted by telephone in the language of each of the countries from May 16 to June 4 by First International Resources. The survey has a margin of error of 4.4%.

"These findings are especially disturbing because they show that the old, classical form of anti-Semitism has been joined by a new form fueled by anti-Israel sentiment, creating a potent and dangerous mix," said Abraham Foxman, ADL national director. "The resiliency of anti-Semitism, coupled with the emergence of strong anti-Israel sentiment in European countries with enormous Muslim/Arab populations, demands our serious and immediate attention."

According to the findings of the Europeans surveyed:

30% harbor traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes.

45% believe Jews are more loyal to Israel than their own country.

30% believe that Jews have too much power in the business world.

19% say Jews don't care about anyone but their own kind.

16% say Jews are more willing than others to use shady practices to get what they want.

39% believe Jews still talk too much about the Holocaust.

When asked about anti-Jewish violence in Europe:

62% believe the recent outbreak of violence against Jews in Europe is a result of anti-Israel sentiment and not traditional anti-Jewish feelings.

69% said they are "very concerned" or "fairly concerned" about violence directed against European Jews.

34% of French respondents and 32% of Belgians said they were "unconcerned" or "fairly unconcerned."

In France, which had the most anti-Jewish violence of the countries polled, 33% said their government was not doing enough to protect its Jewish citizens.

"It is encouraging that such a large majority of Europeans is concerned about violence against Jews. That is the good news," Foxman said. "The bad news is that not enough people of goodwill have been willing to stand up to reject anti-Semitism in the face of the intensifying attacks against Jews, synagogues, and other distinctly Jewish institutions. It is especially disturbing that only 60 years after the Holocaust, Europe's leaders and citizenry are being diffident when confronted with anti-Semitism."

The survey found that most Europeans know nothing or very little about the history the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and say they get their information about it from the media.

One-third said they hold neither a favorable nor unfavorable view of Israel, while by a margin of 2-1 they sympathize more with the Palestinians than Israelis. In all five countries, the more closely the respondents said they follow the media coverage of the conflict, the more likely they were to sympathize with the Palestinians.

63% said they know "nothing" or a "very little" about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

57% said they follow media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "a great deal" or "a good amount," while 38% say the hold "neither favorable nor unfavorable" views of Israel; 28% view Israel favorably and 26% view Israel unfavorably.

86% feel there is no justification for suicide bombers targeting Israelis

©2002 - Jerusalem Post

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