1 in 4 Europeans profess anti-Semitic views, survey finds

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 28.11.2018 17:32
Updated 28.11.2018 17:39
In this Nov. 20, 2018 photo, crafted Stars of David hang from a tree on Forbes Ave in the Squirrel Hill shopping district of Pittsburgh, where the deadliest attack on Jews in the recent history took place in October. (AP Photo)
In this Nov. 20, 2018 photo, crafted Stars of David hang from a tree on Forbes Ave in the Squirrel Hill shopping district of Pittsburgh, where the deadliest attack on Jews in the recent history took place in October. (AP Photo)

About a quarter of all Europeans profess to views that are anti-Semitic in the fields of business, politics and media, a new survey by CNN has found.

The poll, conducted by ComRes, surveyed over 7,000 adults online in Great Britain, France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Sweden and Austria during the month of September.

Few participants, only 10 percent overall, professed an unfavorable attitude toward Jews. That number rose to 15 percent in Poland and 19 percent in Hungary.

However, to better assess whether Europeans hold anti-Semitic perceptions, the survey also asked participants whether they thought Jews had too much influence in certain realms.

  • More than 1 in 4 said business and finance
  • Almost 1 in 4 said wars and conflicts across the globe
  • 1 in 5 said the media
  • 1 in 5 said politics

Negative sentiments toward Jews in power seemed to run hand-in-hand with overestimates about what percentage of the global population is Jewish. About two-thirds of participants guessed too high when asked about the percentage of Jews in the world population and in their own countries.

According to the Pew Research Center, about 0.2 percent of the global population is Jewish. However, 25 percent of Hungarians, 20 percent of Brits and 20 percent of Poles guessed the world is more than 20 percent Jewish, off by a factor of 100.

The poll also asked about the Holocaust, the World War II genocide in which Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime killed some 6 million Jews.

Overall, 1 in 20 Europeans surveyed said they had never heard of the Holocaust. Only 1 in 5 said they knew "a great deal" about it.

In France, 1 in 5 participants between the ages of 18 and 34 said they had never heard of it.

In Austria, the country where Hitler was born, 12 percent of young people said they had never heard of the Holocaust. 4 out of 10 adults said they knew "just a little" about it.

A third of Europeans surveyed said they think Jews use the Holocaust to advance their own goals.

However, a majority of respondents, approximately two-thirds, said they did believe that commemorating the Holocaust helps prevent similar atrocities from happening in the future, and half said it helps fight anti-Semitism today.

A telling statistic that emerged from the survey is the lack of interaction with Jews for a majority of Europeans. Two-thirds of Germans, Austrians and Poles said they were not aware they had ever talked with a Jew, while half of the respondents in the other four countries said the same.

As far-right groups and political parties gain ground across Europe, anti-Semitic rhetoric and actions, as well as Islamophobia and xenophobia, are on the rise.

Similar trends have emerged in the United States. In October, a man killed 11 worshippers in a Pittsburgh synagogue, the deadliest attack on Jews in recent U.S. history.

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