Moldova Parliament
Moldova ParliamentiStock

In a novel, detailed country study for Moldova, 36% of respondents feel Jews use dishonest means to achieve aims, 19% have a negative perception of Jewish people and around 14% “really don’t like them.” Other concerning findings include that 32% say Jews exploit non-Jews and 36% Jews seek to gain advantage from the Holocaust and 37% said that Jews talk too much about it.

The Brussels-based European Jewish Association (EJA), representing hundreds of Jewish Communities across the continent, and Budapest-based Action and Protection League, on Tuesday published a comprehensive report on antisemitic attitudes in the Republic of Moldova, as part of shared efforts to get an accurate continent-wide picture of current attitudes towards Jews.

The land-locked country of 2.5 million citizens has a small Jewish population of around 1,900, equating to 0.7% of all citizens, which, says EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin, shows an irrational and alarmingly high prevalence of antisemitic attitudes.

The survey, conducted between October 20th and November 14th, 2023, gathered 923 valid responses from the adult population of Moldova. The study utilized a stratified, probabilistic sampling method to ensure the sample's representativeness.

The Moldovan government has taken some actions in combating antisemitism such as adopting the IHRA definition and changing the penal code to include the promotion of fascist, racist or xenophobic ideologies, public denial of the Holocaust, glorification of exponents of fascism and Nazism, and the use in public or for political purposes of fascist, racist or xenophobic symbols.

Speaking as the survey was published, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the European Jewish Association said Tuesday: “The Moldova survey on antisemitism is part of our ongoing efforts to properly map the situation affecting Jews across the continent.”

“It is sadly clear that – despite some government efforts - deep-rooted antisemitism persists in Moldova. There can be no rational explanation as to why a community that represents such a tiny fraction of the overall population bears the brunt of such an alarmingly high number of stereotypes and tropes.”

He added, “It will take much more than the adoption of the IHRA definition and changes to the legal code to make an impact on the antisemitic attitudes present in the country. Change in the classroom is as a matter of urgency, if not, the next generation will perpetuate and carry the virus of antisemitism with them. The Moldovan government has a tough road ahead in eradicating these old antisemitic attitudes that have no place in any modern country, especially one that seeks to join the European Union.”