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May 13, 2014 12:19 pm

ADL Global Survey Finds ‘Anti-Semitic Attitudes Are Persistent, Pervasive Around the World’; West Bank, Gaza Highest Scores

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Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman and Jeffrey Liszt, of Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, presenting the findings of the organization's first global survey of anti-Semitic attitudes, on May 13, 2013. Photo: Algemeiner.

Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman and Jeffrey Liszt, of Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, presenting the findings of the organization's first global survey of anti-Semitic attitudes, on May 13, 2013. Photo: Algemeiner.

The Anti-Defamation League on Tuesday said a survey of 53,100 adults in 102 countries and territories “found that anti-Semitic attitudes are persistent and pervasive around the world.”

The survey found that one-in-four adults, 26 percent of respondents, representing a billion people around the world, “are deeply infected with anti-Semitic attitudes.”

It ranked countries and territories in numerical order from the least anti-Semitic – Laos, at 0.2 percent of the adult population – to the most – West Bank and Gaza, where anti-Semitic attitudes, at 93 percent, are pervasive throughout society.

At a press conference in New York to explain the results, ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said the bottom line of the findings were that people, whether they know any Jews or not, share prejudiced views against Jewish people.

“The judgement is you can’t trust Jews,” Foxman said.

He described the prevailing beliefs of the one-in-four adults who supported at least six statements in the survey: “That Jews control – they control media, politics, finance, all for the purposes of controlling others – it’s a very clear anti-Semitic canard.”

Foxman said the internationalization of anti-Semitism is based on the wider dissemination of materials that portray Jews in a negative light, such as the century-old ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion,’ which paints Jews as a nefarious cabal that works behind the scenes to control world events.

“Where do people get information today about Jews?” Foxman asked. “They get it from television and internet. Conspiracy theories about Jews, you don’t have to have them or know them, all you have to do is plug in.”

The survey, ‘The ADL Global 100: An Index of Anti-Semitism,’ was created to measure the level and intensity of anti-Jewish sentiment across the world, and is the first of its kind.

The overall score represents the percentage of respondents who answered “probably true” to six or more of 11 negative stereotypes about Jews, the ADL said. The 11-question index has been used by ADL to measure anti-Semitic attitudes in the U.S. for the past 50 years.

In a statement, Foxman said, “For the first time we have a real sense of how pervasive and persistent anti-Semitism is today around the world. The data from the Global 100 Index enables us to look beyond anti-Semitic incidents and rhetoric and quantify the prevalence of anti-Semitic attitudes across the globe. We can now identify hotspots, as well as countries and regions of the world where hatred of Jews is essentially non-existent.”

ADL said that in the majority of English-speaking countries, the percentage of those with anti-Semitic attitudes is 13 percent, far lower than the overall average. Protestant-majority countries, in general, have the lowest ratings of anti-Semitic attitudes, as compared to any other majority religious country. Interestingly, while 26 percent agreed with six or more of the 11 questions, 28 percent did not agree with any of them.

The survey was financed by a grant from the New York philanthropist Leonard Stern. First International Resources conducted the poll and fieldwork and data collection were performed by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research.

The data was based on interviews conducted between July 2013 and February 2014 in 96 languages and dialects via landline telephones, mobile phones and face-to-face discussions. Respondents were selected at random and constituted a demographically representative sample of the adult populations, the ADL said.

The margin of error for most countries, where 500 respondents were selected, was +/- 4.4 percent. In larger countries, where 1,000 interviews were conducted, the margin of error was +/- 3.2 percent.

At the press conference, Jeffrey Liszt, of Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, noted that in countries, Laos or Vietnam, for example, where people may have never met a Jew and have had little exposure to anti-Semitic media, there was a higher response of “I don’t know” to questions.

Among the findings, only 54 percent of those polled said they had never heard of the Holocaust. Two out of three people surveyed have either never heard of the Holocaust, or do not believe historical accounts to be accurate. In Western Europe, 94 percent knew of the Holocaust.

The most widely accepted anti-Semitic stereotype worldwide is: “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country/the countries they live in.” Overall, 41 percent of those surveyed believe this statement to be “probably true.” This was the most widely accepted stereotype in five out of the seven regions surveyed.

The second most widely accepted stereotype worldwide is “Jews have too much power in the business world.” Overall, 35 percent of those surveyed believe this statement to be “probably true.” This is also the most widely held stereotype in Eastern Europe.

Among the 74 percent of those surveyed who said they had never met a Jew, 25 percent harbor anti-Semitic attitudes. Of the 26 percent overall who harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, 70 percent have never met a Jewish person.

Three out of 10 respondents, 30 percent, believe Jews make up between 1 to 10 percent of the world’s population, versus the 0.19 percent in reality. Another 18 percent believe Jews make up more than 10 percent of the world’s population.

By region, the highest concentration of respondents holding anti-Semitic attitudes was in the Middle East and North Africa, where nearly three-quarters of respondents, 74 percent of those polled, agreed with a majority of the anti-Semitic stereotypes that comprise the 11-question index. Non-MENA countries had an average index score of 23 percent.

Ranked by the index score: Middle East and North Africa (74 percent), Eastern Europe (34 percent), Western Europe (24 percent), Sub-Saharan Africa (23 percent), Asia (22 percent), the Americas (19 percent) and Oceana (14 percent.)

The 16 countries with the highest index scores of anti-Semitic views are all in the Middle East and North Africa. Greece, with 69 percent of the adult population falling into the anti-Semitic category, was the highest country outside of MENA. In other countries, anti-Semitism was found to be virtually non-existent, particularly in the Scandinavian countries and in Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines.

Levels of anti-Semitic attitudes are particularly low in English speaking countries, with only 13 percent harboring anti-Semitic attitudes, half the worldwide average.

The most anti-Semitic countries and territories were led by the West Bank and Gaza, where 93 percent of the adult population holds anti-Semitic views, followed by Iraq (92 percent), Yemen (88 percent), Algeria (87 percent), Libya (87 percent), Tunisia (86 percent), Kuwait (82 percent), Bahrain (81 percent), Jordan (81 percent), and Morocco (80 percent.)

The lowest-ranked countries in the ADL Global Index were led by Laos, where 0.2 percent of the adult population holds anti-Semitic views, followed by the Philippines (3 percent), Sweden (4 percent), Netherlands (5 percent), Vietnam (6 percent), UK (8 percent), U.S. (9 percent), Denmark (9 percent), Tanzania (12 percent), Thailand (13 percent), and the Czech Republic (13 percent.)

In the statement, Foxman said, “We were profoundly disappointed about the resilience of anti-Semitism in many countries where we had hoped to see lower numbers, particularly some in Eastern Europe that experienced the war and the Holocaust firsthand.”

“On the other hand, there is a silver lining in countries such as Denmark, the U.K., the Netherlands and Sweden – all Protestant majority countries – where we found incredibly low levels of anti-Semitic beliefs,” Foxman said. “The Czech Republic stands out as well as being one of the lowest-ranked countries in Eastern Europe, with only 13 percent of the population manifesting anti-Semitic views. This is a testament to the high levels of tolerance and acceptance in Czech society.”

The survey also looked at the rankings by respondent religion. Nearly half of all Muslims surveyed around the world responded “probably true” to at least 6 of the 11 index stereotypes in the report. Also, Christians in Eastern Orthodox and Catholic countries are more likely to harbor anti-Semitic views than those in Protestant countries, the ADL said.

Among Muslims, which comprise 22.7 percent of the world population, 49 percent harbor anti-Semitic attitudes. In MENA, the number of Muslims holding anti-Semitic attitudes is 75 percent.

Anti-Semitic beliefs among Muslims outside of MENA is much lower, with those in Asia at 37 percent, in Western Europe at 29 percent, in Eastern Europe at 20 percent, and in Sub-Saharan Africa at 18 percent.

Anti-Semitic beliefs by Christians were the highest in MENA, at 64 percent, compared to the global average for Christians of 24 percent.

Respondents from other religions polled included Hindu, at 19 percent, Buddhist, at 17 percent, and “no religion,” at 21 percent.

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  • Lynne T

    The ayatollahs must be having conniptions that despite 35 years of Islamic rule, they have only managed to brainwash 56% of the population of Iran.

  • I have had quite a lot of conflict in my life. When I finally got to the point to where I just wanted to know just what in the world was going on, I decided to take each conflict and analyze it from my standpoint. In other words what was I doing in the conflict. Right or wrong, what actions did I do to bring on the conflict. This process helped me to avoid a lot of conflict. I removed myself from the equation and there was no more conflict.
    I have told in this forum about my encounters with Jews in my life. When I left my elementary school where I studied with a more homogeneous group of individuals and went to junior high and high schools I came in to contact with a number of Jews.
    Mostly, they did not want to have anything to do with me. They stayed to themselves and moved in their own social groups. I mentioned Solbakken, the son of a rich Jewish haberdasher who begged food from his fellow students in the cafeteria. I had to get up very early in the morning to deliver papers and worked until late at night at a gas station to earn money to support myself and my family. I felt sorry for Solbakken, I only found out later that his family was rich. I would buy extra food for Solbakken and give it to him. I had to work harder so he could save his lunch money. When I found out that his family was wealthy and he was just making a fool out of everyone who gave him food, naturally I was furious. I was and still am a poor white southerner. A lot of prejudice exists against my kind of people and a lot of lies and untruths have been told about us by certain groups in order to cause hatred and mistrust among the races. Sometimes I would give rides to Jewish students. They would always get out of my car up the block from their house. They did not want to be seen associating with my kind. I realized that I was not going to be given any type of help for a college education or put into any special classes to help me in that direction. I took only enough courses to graduate high school and worked the rest of the time. I have had little or no direct contact with Jews after that.
    I don’t know, this is just what happened in my life. I took a look at how I behaved in different situations and it helped me with conflict resolution. Something has to be causing all this anti Jewish sentiment. Hope I helped. I did get to college on the G I bill, I was drafted, injured and now survive off a small veterans pension. I heard Solbakken went straight to college and avoided the draft and inherited his fathers haberdashery and is filthy rich.
    Semper Fi and Good Night Chesty Puller where ever you are.

    • B.B.JOHNSON’s comment consists of 38 lines of which 11 are devoted to a pathetic specimen called Solbakken who HAPPENS to be Jewish. Johnson does not like Solbakken and neither do I. I am Jewish. Had Solbakken been a Mentsh, a decent human being, then Johnson would have liked him AND SO FORMED A FAVOURABLE IMPRESSION OF JEWS IN GENERAL.

      There are some 14 million Jews worldwide. What thinking intelligent person bases his opinion of people on a sample of just one individual? And if Solbakken is not a generalisation, then why does Johnson mention him?

    • Boruch N. Hoffinger

      The actions, perhaps being bad, of a number of Jews is no indication that all Jews are like this. If one were to take a sampling of negative behavior of others races-groups one could start to hate everyone.
      Would this man say Moses, Jacob, etc were evil? He wouldn’t have a Cristianity without Jews.

  • Max Gordon

    Sad to say that Jews will always be hated because the Jews and Israel do not have a propaganda machine that is strong enough to counteract the lies that the hate brigade spew at regular intervals

  • Eric R.

    And in the mind of Foxman, all the hatred is emanating from the (misnamed) far right.

    There is no left-wing Jew-hatred in the Obama tuchis-kissing world where Foxman and the ADL live.

  • Ross Yerkes


  • gonjtonic

    We can not “teach” the world to love us and to accept us. Only a strong Israel will prevent this infection to burst and will contain it to sporadic events in the micro.

    • Lynne T

      Ah, Mr. Jerkies, weighing in right on cue.

      Do you think typing your semi-literate message out in upper case makes it any more persuasive?

    • You are wrong gonj. You can teach the world to love the Jewish People. What You cannot do is make them Love them! Understanding, appreciation and toleration are ideas which can be taught and learned! They cannot be forced upon those who do not wish to learn their positive lessons!

  • The survey shows that in spite of Jews progress worldwide, nevertheless, Jews must be ever vigilant, because the survey shows anti-Semitism exist in the 102 countries surveyed.

    The ADL rightly makes the survey and anti-Semitism statictics available to everyone. Accordingly, every Jew throughout the world, especially in America must never become complacent and think the fight is over against anti-Semitism or that Israel can trust those Mideast countries who advocate its destruction.

    Therefore, it’s encumber every Jew lives “Never Again!”

    Clyde Dinkins
    Las Vegas
    USAF Veteran, African American
    Senior Citizen

  • Tell me something we don’t already know. Why the shock and surprise? Nothing much has changed.

  • BH in Iowa

    We make ourselves the most enticing targets possible, then cry and whine when we become targets.

  • Jack

    The numbers for UK, Netherlands, and Sweden are low because the survey doesn’t measure the “new anti-Semitism
    in the form of hatred toward Israel, which Bernard Lewis calls political/ideological Judeophobia. He refers to this as the third and current phase of European anti-Semitism.

    • Stephen Green

      I have to agree Jack I was very surprised to see that only 8% of the British population was supposed to be anti-Semetic???? I would question this as not correct I would put the figure much higher, much much higher. Why? You just have to see what our government is saying about Israel, we also have a Islamic extremist agenda growing out of control pumping out continuos anti Israel pro BDS lies to which unfortunately the mass believe because today even though they are supposed to be more informed due to technology they are in fact totally ignorant out side of the Lame lie ridden Media/newspapers etc who themselves are full of lazy journalist who prefer to sit in their offices. Once the media was investigative and went out to find the Truth but today they prefer to go out talk to others who are either ignorant, fearful of reprisals for not following their leaders hate filled anti-Israel rhetoric to find sensationalist stories with not real substance or truth in them. I also am not a great fan of these public polls as we know that they are manipulated to give whatever result benefits their own agenda. Shalom Israel we love you

  • Undoubtedly, persistent and pervasive anti-Semitic attitudes were the highest in Hamas-occupied Gaza and PLO-occupied areas in Judea and Samaria. Young Arabs are purposely brainwashed to hate Jews and Israel. And these anti-Semitic attitudes will continue until Jewish life is restored in Gaza, Judea and Samaria.

  • rulierose

    so anti-Semitism is highest in the West Bank and Gaza? I am shocked, shocked to hear that. do you think it might have anything to do with the fact that Palestinian children are indoctrinated from their babyhood to hate and despise Jews, and to be taught that murdering them and thus liberating Palestine from the evil Zionists (and being martyred in the attempt) is the highest honor?

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    In other news, Gravity exists.

  • Emanuel

    You really have to wonder when the ADL has become a tool of the left, if those attitude for the UK, Netherlands and Sweden are accurate, those numbers look a bit low but it’s possible. Steve Wenick, do people really hate being Jewish? is that a thing? If you hate it and you don’t believe it why not just stop identifying or become atheist?

    • zeynep

      ohh Prof. Emanuel again, the political science ‘genius’ who doesn’t know right from left yet adamantly continue commenting on it.

      I have left my reply to your ‘lovely’ and highly ‘intelligent’ reply to me (the spy article, remember?). Perhaps you would care to read it, if you have time spared from your studies???

      p.s.: This internet is indeed a boon for freedom of speech. For if I were to tell you all this to your face, I don’t even want to imagine what would have happened to mine.

      • Emanuel

        Good call.

  • Steve Wenick

    How many of those who responded were Jewish, and more depressingly, hate being Jewish?

  • Bernhard Rosenberg

    I can tell you that more than a quarter of the world hates Jews. Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg