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ADL Poll: Anti-Semitic Sentiments 'Disturbingly High'

Approximately one-third of Europeans surveyed espoused anti-Semitic beliefs.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 3/22/2012, 5:44 PM

ADL Dir. Abe Foxman
ADL Dir. Abe Foxman
Yoni Kempinski

Anti-Semitic sentiments in European countries are at "disturbingly high levels," says a poll issued by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released Thursday.

A great deal of the European population is proscribing to “classical anti-Semitic 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,” the ADL Website notes.

Compared to a similar poll conducted by the ADL in 2009, this year presents “dangerously high levels” of anti-Semitic attitudes among a wide percentage of the population.

The ADL poll examined ten different European countries and surveyed 5,000 adults, Five hundred in each of the ten countries and found that approximately one-third of those surveyed espoused anti-Semitic beliefs.

“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 has a margin of error of between +/- 4.43 and +/- 4.85, depending on the specific country,” explained the Website.

The National Director of the ADL, Abraham H. Foxman said, "The survey is disturbing by the fact that anti-Semitism remains at high levels across the continent and infects many Europeans at a much higher level than we see here in the United States. In Hungary, Spain and Poland the numbers for anti-Semitic attitudes are literally off-the-charts and demand a serious response from political, civic and religious leaders."

In France, 45 percent of those surveyed attributed the violence against European Jews to anti-Jewish feelings, an increase from 39 percent in 2009. Forty-five percent also responded that it is “probably true” that Jews are more loyal to Israel than the country in which they live, echoing the accusations of being an “Israel-firster” than have been gaining momentum in the United States.

Thirty-five 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.”

Foxman noted that the "increases are all the more disturbing in light of the shooting attack at the Jewish school in Toulouse."