One in four people 'hold anti-Semitic views', survey claims

Research by the Anti-Defamation League claimed almost half of respondents did not know abut the Holocaust

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The Independent Online

One in four people around the world hold anti-Semitic views, research commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League has claimed, representing 1.09 billion people worldwide.

A survey by the US-based ADL, a Jewish non-governmental organisation, found almost half of the 53,100 adults polled said they did not know about the Holocaust, although this figure dropped to six per cent when looking just at Western European respondents.

The ADL Global 100 Index polled adults from over 100 countries and territories and 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 most commonly accepted stereotype from those available to respondents was: "Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country/to the countries they live in," with 41 per cent 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."

Greece was found to be the most anti-Semitic country in Western Europe with 69 per cent of the adults surveyed expressing such opinions.

Sweden comparatively was the least anti-Semitic country, with four per cent expressing similar views.

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 UK was also in the lower bracket, with eight per cent of participants found by the survey to hold anti-Semitic views.

World-wide, Laos demonstrated the least prejudice, with 0.2 per cent of respondents there found to demonstrate anti-Semitic views by the researchers.

The West Bank and Gaza were deemed to be the most anti-Semitic group, with 93 per cent of respondents there judged to hold anti-Semitic beliefs.

ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said their findings were “sobering but not surprising”. "We can now identify hotspots,” he added, “as well as countries and regions of the world where hatred of Jews is virtually non-existent."

However, the findings have been described as exaggerated by some. "Stating 18 million French people show signs of anti-Semitic attitudes seems excessive to me," Marc Knobel, head of studies at France's Jewish umbrella organization CRIF told The Local. "I have never seen a figure like that before."

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