Tuesday, May 13, 2014

13-May-14: Understanding who hates us

From the ADL Global 100 site
There's wide coverage today of the Anti-Defamation League’s largest-ever, most-important ever, most-useful ever worldwide survey of anti-Semitic attitudes, the results of which were published today (Tuesday). More than 53,000 people were asked to respond to the survey questions in 102 countries and territories. The outcome is exceptionally significant and with a host of takeaways and action points.

The main findings, in our words:
  • Deeply anti-Jewish views are held by more than a quarter of the world's population.
  • In North America, it's 9% of the people of the US and 14% of Canadians. In Australia and New Zealand, the numbers are about the same as Canada's. 
  • The European country with the highest antisemitism index is Greece with 69%85% of Greeks believe "Jews have too much power in the business world". That's likely to get some analytic attention as the Greeks work their way out of the dire economic mess in which they are currently stuck.
  • But while the overall global number is 26%, in one part of the world it's almost three times that level: the Middle East and North Africa with 74%.
  • Almost exactly half the world's Moslems across the entire world are categorized as anti-semitic. Among Christians, it's less than half that level: 24% 
  • Looking only at people with those anti-semitic views, how many of them admit they have never even met a Jew? 70%.
  • In the Middle East, the least anti-semitic populations appears to live in Morocco - a mere 80% - and Iran with 56%. (Iran, unlike all the Arab states of the Middle East, continues to have an actual Jewish community of its own; this evidently has a limiting impact on people's prejudices.)
  • The survey looked into what people know and don't know about the Holocaust. Here the numbers are staggering. 35% of respondents had never heard of it, and the younger people are, the less they know about it. Add to them the number who think the Holocaust of the Jews was a hoax, a myth or greatly exaggerated and you get to two-thirds of the world's people. In other words, no matter where in the world you live, only one third of our neighbours are likely to be affected by what they learn concerning the Nazi destruction of six million Jewish lives and the devastation visited on untold numbers of communities in Europe and North Africa. Gets you thinking, no?
The methodology, as described in a JTA report today, seems straightforward. The survey asked for agree/disagree (“probably true” or not) responses to these 11 questions. People who agreed with a majority of the statements were deemed anti-Semitic.
  1. Jews talk too much about what happened to them during the Holocaust.
  2. Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the countries they live in.
  3. Jews think they are better than other people.
  4. Jews have too much power in international financial markets.
  5. Jews have too much power in the business world.
  6. Jews have too much control over global affairs.
  7. People hate Jews because of the way Jews behave.
  8. Jews have too much control over the U.S. government.
  9. Jews have too much control over global media.
  10. Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars.
  11. Jews don’t care about what happens to anyone but their own kind.
Just two more observations:

Chemi Shalev, a columnist for Haaretz, notes that 62% of Poles, 61% of Lithuanians and 52% of Austrians think Jews "talk too much about the Holocaust". (We're avoiding the strong temptation to withhold caustic criticism.)

The world has about 13,700,000 Jews altogether, today. But 18% of people think the Jewish population of the world exceeds 700 million people. Not surprisingly, some 38% of those people are classified as anti-Jewish.

The ADL can be proud of what they have pulled together. There's serious food for thought in their study.

1 comment:

Adir Bar Yohanan said...

I appreciate the list of questions but is only tackling half of the anti-Semitic views. The other half has to do with the opposite of all of those statements. Lord Sacks of UK has recently published a book, "Not in God's Name" which spells out some of those pairs:

Jews are hated for being strong and weak, for controlling world media and for being perpetual victims, and so on.

I think it is important to understand that anti-Semitism is not a rational opposition to "Jews have too much power in US governement" or anything that could make some sense. It is an irational thing and cannot be quelled by rational discourse.

Excerpts of Lord Sacks's book can be found here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/11665931/Rabbi-Lord-Sacks-How-to-end-the-wars-of-hatred.html