More than 40% of France's population believe that Jews have "too much power in the business world," according to a survey on anti-Semitism in France conducted by the World Zionist Organization ahead of the International Day for Countering Anti-Semitism, which will be marked on January 27.
The poll also shows that 47% think French Jews are "more loyal to Israel than to the country they live in" and that 19% of young men up to the age of 24 have negative sentiments towards the Jews of France, while 43% of people with higher education expressed positive feelings towards them.
The survey further reveals that 54% of France's residents, mainly academics with a high income, believe that acts of violence stem mainly from anti-Jewish sentiments rather than from an anti-Israel stance.
According to Yaakov Haguel, head of the WZO's Department for Countering Anti-Semitism, "There has recently been a sharp rise by dozens of percentage points in anti-Semitic expressions and incidents in France.
"The entire world must wake up and fight the expressions of hatred and anti-Semitism which cause hundreds of thousands of Jews to live in fear."
Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky said Wednesday, "Unfortunately, 2012 saw an increase in anti-Semitic expressions due to anti-Semitic parties' rise to power in different countries and the growth in acts of violence motivated by anti-Semitism. However, the past year saw a decline in the battle against the State of Israel's legitimacy."
Sharansky thanked the world Jewry for its contribution for a strong and efficient line of defense for Israel, noting the efforts made by the Israeli government and Jewish Agency to strengthen the ties between Israel and the world's Jewish community.
He stressed the important activity of dozens of Jewish Agency emissaries serving on campuses worldwide and "bringing Israel's true story to hundreds of thousands of Jewish and non-Jewish students."