A new study conducted by the Anti-Defamation League reveals that one of every four adults surveyed around the world has anti-Semitic feelings. The study listed eleven stereotypes about Jews, and if the respondent answered “probably” or “definitely” to at least six of them the respondent was judged anti-Semitic.
The lowest level of anti-Semitism was found in Laos; only 0.2 percent of the adult population was found to harbor anti-Jewish feelings. The highest percentage was found in the West Bank and Gaza at 93 percent.
In Western Europe, the home of the Holocaust, the most anti-Semitic country was Greece, with 69 percent of respondents viewed as anti-Semitic; the lowest percentage was 4 percent in Sweden. The United States was quite low at 9 percent.
ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said, “Our findings are sobering but sadly not surprising. We can now identify hotspots, as well as countries and regions of the world where hatred of Jews is virtually non-existent.” The high rate of anti-Semitism in Greece prompted an invitation to Foxman from the Greek Prime Minister to discuss the problem.
The stereotype that resonated most with global respondents was, “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country/to the countries they live in,” with 41 percent of respondents agreeing. The next highest percentage was the statement, “Jews have too much power in the business world,” with 35 percent of answers agreeing.
In Europe, 94 percent of adults had heard about the Holocaust, but only 54 percent of adults worldwide knew about it, which Foxman called “disturbingly low.” In sub-Saharan Africa that figure was only 24 percent.
There was a huge gap between Christian anti-Semitism and Muslim anti-Semitism; 24 percent of Christians were labeled as anti-Semitic, but the figure for Muslims was more than double that at 49 percent. There was a gap between Muslims, too; a whopping 75 percent of Muslims in the Mideast and North Africa were anti-Semitic, while among Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa that figure plunged to 18 percent.
The Mideast and North Africa were the most anti-Semitic, the Oceania region the least. Thirteen percent of adults in English-speaking countries were anti-Semitic, while in Spanish-speaking countries the figure rose to 30 percent.
The most fascinating fact may have been this: among the 74 percent of respondents who had never met a Jew, 25 percent were still anti-Semitic.