Daily Israel Report

Poll: 13% of Poles Think Jews Guilty of 'Blood Libel'

WZO poll finds anti-Semitism rampant in Poland; calls on Israeli government to take EU to task over rampant anti-Semitism there.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 1/26/2014, 12:49 PM

Swastika
Swastika
Israel News photo: Flash 90

Little has changed in the way of anti-Semitism, a new poll reveals ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. 

Mr. Yaakov Hagoel, head of the World Zionist Organization's Department for Activities in Israel and Countering Antisemitism, revealed Sunday the staggering results of a new poll - which shows that anti-Semitism still remains strong in Poland. 

The survey found that 63% of respondents believe that "there is a Jewish conspiracy to control the banks systems and international media." 18% of respondents answered "yes" to the question, "Are the Jews responsible for the death of Jesus Christ?". 13% percent of the respondents claimed that they agree with the fact that Jews use Christian blood for ritual purposes.

The survey also revealed a surge in anti-Israel sentiments. 35% of respondents answered "yes" to the question "Is Israel a country that does not stop at nothing to achieve its goals?"; 21% of respondents answered "yes" to the question "Is the attitude that Israel gives the Palestinians similar to that received by the Jews from Hitler during World War II?".

According to Hagoel, "70 years after the end of the Nazi occupation, I was appalled by the fact that in 2014, many Jews around the world and specifically in Warsaw, live under the terror of anti-Semitic prejudice from extremists." 

"Phenomenon such as the reverse Nazi salute or 'quenelle,' burning of Jewish buildings, desecration of cemeteries and revelations of anti-Semitic violence cannot be overlooked," he added. 

Hagoel also believes that European governments need to be held responsible for the rise of anti-Semitism within their respective countries. 

"In recent years we have witnessed a significant increase in cases of anti-Semitism in Europe," he explained. "Terrible acts of anti-Semitism are being conducted every day around the world, and in Warsaw in particular."

"The WZO calls on the Israeli government to employ the full weight of its influence and apply all of its efforts in pressuring European governments to acknowledge that anti-Semitism exists, and prevent such acts," he continued. "It is inconceivable that a democracy tolerates and even understates acts of terror and violence against Jews because they are Jewish." 

Poland had the largest European Jewish community before roughly 90% of the country's over 3 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

Earlier this month, the Catholic Church of Poland unveiled a painting that had been kept hidden since 2006, after protests from both Catholics and Jews opposed the depiction of Jews murdering Christian children in the classic anti-Semitic blood libel trope. 

The news surfaces just as statistics from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights were released revealing skyrocketing anti-Semitism in Europe. Some 66% of European Jews have said that in 2013, anti-Semitism has significantly impacted their lives.