NEW YORK – Anti-Semitism remains prevalent around the world with one in four adults surveyed in a new international study expressing anti-Jewish sentiment, according to a new study released Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League.
The ADL Global 100 Index found someone to be anti-Semitic if they answered “probably” or “definitely” true to six or more of 11 stereotypes about Jews offered on the survey.
The survey, which the ADL called “the broadest survey of anti-Jewish attitudes ever conducted,” found the lowest level of anti-Semitism in Laos, with just 0.2 per cent of the adult population expressing such views. The highest level of anti-Semitism was found in the Palestinian territories of West Bank and Gaza at 93 per cent.
Greece was the most anti-Semitic country in Western Europe, with 69 per cent of the adults surveyed expressing such opinions and Sweden, with four per cent, was the least. In the United States, nine per cent of adults were found to harbour anti-Semitic views.
“Our findings are sobering but sadly not surprising,” said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman. “We can now identify hotspots, as well as countries and regions of the world where hatred of Jews is virtually non-existent.”
Foxman said findings about Greece had already led to an invitation from that country’s prime minister to discuss possible remedies.
“Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country/to the countries they live in,” was the most commonly accepted stereotype with 41 per cent of respondents surveyed across 101 countries and the West Bank and Gaza saying that it was at least “probably true.” The second most accepted stereotype, held by 35 per cent of respondents, was: “Jews have too much power in the business world.”
The survey also found that only 54 per cent of those polled had heard about the Holocaust, a figure Foxman called “disturbingly low.”
Holocaust awareness was highest in Western Europe where 94 per cent of respondents said they had heard about it and lowest in sub-Sarahan Africa with only 24 per cent.
According to the survey, 49 per cent of Muslims hold anti-Semitic views compared with 24 per cent of Christians.
But Jeffery Liszt, who oversaw the survey for Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, said that anti-Semitic views conformed more closely to region than religion with 75 per cent Muslims in the Mideast and North Africa holding anti-Semitic views while only 18 per cent of Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa expressing similar sentiments.
The Mideast and North Africa region was found to the most anti-Semitic and the Oceania region the least, followed by the Americas.
Anti-Semitic attitudes were relatively low in English speaking countries at 13 per cent compared with 30 per cent for Spanish speaking countries, the report found.
The survey also found that among the 74 per cent of those surveyed who said that they had never met a Jewish person, 25 per cent nonetheless harboured anti-Semitic attitudes.
The survey interviewed 53,100 adults across 102 countries with funding from New York philanthropist Leonard Stern. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 0.97 percentage points for results across all nations surveyed and varies for results from individual nations.