Tuesday, June 30, 2015

30-Jun-15: Towards a clearer understanding of how and where they hate us in Europe

Many of the Jews we know feel there is much about which to worry when it comes to the general state of people's attitudes to the Jews among whom they live and, to an astonishing degree, the Jews whom they don't know at all.

The Anti-Defamation League, whose largest-ever study of anti-Semitic attitudes (more than 53,000 people in 102 countries) we covered here ["13-May-14: Understanding who hates us"] has today announced a follow-up. In summarizing the results today [press release here], the ADL's statement sets the stage by referring to current events:
In the aftermath of the shocking violence against Jews in Western Europe the past year, the level of anti-Semitic attitudes among the general population in France showed a dramatic decline, while Germany and Belgium registered significant reductions...
Then in exquisitely careful language it moves on to add a new quantitative layer to the existing analysis, touching on an issue that gets discussed a great deal but almost always on the basis of anecdotal evidence only: attitudes to Jews among Europe's Moslems:
For the first time, the ADL poll measured Muslim attitudes toward Jews in six countries in Western Europe finding that acceptance of anti-Semitic stereotypes by Muslims in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K was substantially higher than among the national population in each country.
This is a report that is likely to trigger widespread discussions for some time to come. The key findings (in our words):
  • The propensity towards racist hatred of Jews among Europe's Moslems is much higher, multiples higher, than among non-Moslem Europeans. There is no room for doubt about the width of the gap, and no reason to look at sampling errors. It's a yawning chasm.
  • Western Europeans who "harbor antisemitic attitudes" compared with Moslems in the same country who "harbor antisemitic attitudes" follow a depressingly clear trajectory: 21% of all Belgians versus 68% of Belgian Moslems; 16% of all Germans versus 56% of German Moslems; Italy 29% versus 56%; France 17% versus 49%; Spain 29% versus 62%; United Kingdom 12% versus 54%.
  • Overall, the numbers average out (our rough calculation) at 20% across all 6 countries for their populations taken as a whole, versus 58%, or about three times as hateful, when you consider their Moslem residents as a distinct and separate demographic.
It's going to be interesting to see the sense that people make of these insights.

The numbers emanating from Greece (where what remains of an ancient and historic Jewish community is a tiny remnant - about 5,000 in the entire country) are noteworthy, given the extreme, self-inflicted instability that has set in there:
Greece continues to show extremely high levels of anti-Semitism, scoring significantly higher than any other European country. In Greece, 67 percent of the population was found to harbor anti-Semitic attitudes (essentially unchanged from 69 percent in 2014).

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