Desecration of Jewish tombstone in German cemetery
A plurality of Europeans believes Jews are not loyal to their country and that they have too much power in business and finance, a new poll released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Tuesday showed.
According to the poll, 43 percent believe Jews are more loyal to Israel than to their own country, with a majority of respondents in Italy, Germany, Poland and Spain saying they believe that this statement is “probably true.”
Alarmingly high levels of those surveyed across Europe still believe in the traditional anti-Jewish canard that “Jews have too much power in the business world.” Overall, nearly 30 percent of all respondents believe this stereotype to be true.
Similarly, European respondents still adhere to the notion that “Jews have too much power in international financial markets.” Overall, 32 percent of those surveyed cling to the traditional stereotype.
The countries surveyed were: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and for the first time, Hungary and Poland.
The opinion survey of 6,000 adults – 500 in each of the 12 European countries – found either minimal decline, no change or, in some cases, an increase in negative attitudes toward Jews from its 2004 findings.
The poll also showed that large portions of the European public continue to believe that Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust.
'Cause for concern'
Overall, 42 percent of those surveyed believe it is “probably true.” In fact, a plurality of respondents in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain and Switzerland believes this notion to be true.
Overall, 20 percent of those surveyed across Europe continue to blame Jews for the death of Jesus, and 29 percent said their opinion of Jews is influenced by the actions taken by the State of Israel.
Of those respondents whose opinions are influenced, a majority, 53 percent, said their opinion of Jews is worse as a result of the actions taken by Israel.
“The findings of this survey demonstrate that individual governments, the EU and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), who have condemned anti-Semitism and sought ways to counteract it, are being challenged to find a formula that will break down the old stereotypes that die hard,” ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said.
“Millions of Europeans still accept a wide range of traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes, including the charge that Jews are more loyal to Israel than to their home country. These attitudes help incite and legitimize anti-Semitism and, coupled with an atmosphere where violence against Jews is still prevalent, give us great cause for concern."