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Antisemitic Attitudes on the Rise in Europe, Survey Finds

Negative attitudes toward Jews in Europe have increased overall since 2005, according to a newly released survey by the Anti-Defamation League.

The survey of six European countries — Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Holland, Switzerland and Britain — showed that fully half of its respondents believe that Jews are not loyal to their country, and more than one third believe that Jews wield too much power in the business world.

“Millions of Europeans continue to accept a wide range of traditional antisemitic stereotypes and conspiracy theories,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the ADL, in a statement. “Despite the fact that individual governments and the E.U. have condemned antisemitism and sought ways to counteract it, these attitudes die hard and help incite and legitimize antisemitics acts, including violence against Jews.”

The survey of 3,000 European adults also found that a majority of respondents in Austria, Hungary and Switzerland believe that American Jews control American policy on the Middle East.

Still, favorable attitudes toward Israel showed an increase over the past two years, while at the same time, sympathy for Palestinians trumped sympathy for Israelis.

Twenty-three percent of those surveyed said that their opinion of Jews is influenced by actions taken by Israel. Within that group, 64% said that their opinion of Jews was worse as a result of Israeli actions.

Asked about boycotts against Israel by British-based groups, 43% of British respondents said they opposed the boycotts, while 37% expressed support for them. Among the six countries polled, antisemitic attitudes were found to be lowest among respondents from the Netherlands.

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