Most French Say Jews Closer to Israel: Poll

Many Question Holocaust Memorials and Call Judaism a Sect

Old Hatred, New Danger: Many French hold disturbing views about Jews, a study shows.
getty images
Old Hatred, New Danger: Many French hold disturbing views about Jews, a study shows.

By JTA

Published June 03, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Half of all respondents to a survey on attitudes toward Jews in France said French Jews are closer to Israel than to their own republic.

Performed online last month by the polling company OpinionWay among 1,001 adult French males and females of various ages and political convictions, 46 percent of respondents in the poll said Jews are “closer to France than Israel” and four percent said they did not know.

Seventy-seven percent of respondents said Jews are “a unified group characterized by solidarity” while only 20 percent said Jews are a “diverse and divided” group.

The assertion that “Jews exercise an over-sized level of influence” got a 28-percent approval rate. An identical number of respondents said “too much is being done” to combat anti-Semitism, compared to 41 percent who said “what is being done is just right.” Thirty percent said “not enough is being done.”

One in five respondents said “too much was being done” to preserve the memory of the Holocaust, while 57 percent said Holocaust preservation efforts are “sufficient as they are.” Twenty-two percent said “not enough” is being done.

The Holocaust was described as “a specific and unique massacre in world history” by 36 percent of respondents whereas 63 percent said it was “a massacre which fits in a sequence of other terrible events that have happened throughout history.”

The slaying on March 19, 2012 of three Jewish children and a rabbi in Toulouse by a Muslim extremist was described as “an isolated act which does not illustrate any general trend” by 59 percent of respondents, whereas 40 percent said it was “a sign of the growth in anti-Semitism in France.”

Twenty-one percent of respondents said Judaism is “sectarian” compared to 38 percent who said it is “tolerant.” Protestant Christianity received a 42-percent endorsement as “tolerant” and 15 percent of respondents called it “sectarian.”

Forty percent of respondents said they are “sympathetic” toward Catholics as opposed to three percent who indicated they feel “antipathy.” For Jews the figure was 23 percent sympathetic and seven percent antipathy, and for Muslims it was 12 percent sympathy and 28 percent antipathy. Seven percent of respondents said Islam is tolerant and 60 percent said it is “sectarian.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.