(RNS) The first-ever global study of anti-Semitic attitudes shows that more than a quarter of the world’s population harbors intense anti-Jewish sentiment, with region, more than religion, shaping people’s view of Jews and Judaism.

The poll, released Tuesday (May 13) by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League, also finds that a large proportion of the world has never heard of the Holocaust or denies historical accounts of it.

Of those polled, 46 percent have either not heard of the Holocaust that killed 6 million Jews or think it is a myth or exaggerated.

“For the first time we have a real sense of how pervasive and persistent anti-Semitism is today around the world,” said Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

He called the results of the Global 100 Index “sobering but not surprising” and said it would serve as a baseline for the ADL to understand where anti-Semitism is most prevalent and where education is most necessary. The results of the survey of 102 nations and territories revealed stark regional differences, and hotspots of anti-Semitism around the globe.

The survey found that the least anti-Semitic place in the world is Laos, where anti-Semitic beliefs are held by just 0.2 percent of the population. The most anti-Semitic place is in Israel’s backyard, the West Bank and Gaza, where 93 percent of people held anti-Semitic beliefs.

The 10 most anti-Semitic countries and territories, according to the survey, are the West Bank and Gaza, Iraq, Yemen, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan and Morocco.

The 10 least anti-Semitic countries, surveyors found, are Laos, the Philippines, Sweden, the Netherlands, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, the United States, Denmark, Tanzania and Thailand.

In the U.S., 9 percent of those surveyed revealed anti-Semitic views.

The poll is based on 11 questions that refer to common stereotypes about Jews, such as “Jews have too much power in international financial markets” and “Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars.” Those who answered “probably true” to six or more questions were deemed to be anti-Semitic.

Overall, 28 percent of respondents answered “no” to all 11 stereotypes presented of Jews when asked if they were true.

Asked if a person could still be considered anti-Semitic for affirming only three anti-Semitic stereotypes, Foxman said the ADL purposely set the bar for anti-Semitism very high, so as to make its results conservative.

The ADL found that much of the world greatly overestimates the global Jewish population: Nearly half the respondents (48 percent) believe that Jews account for more than 1 percent of the population, and nearly one in five (18 percent) believe they make up 10 percent. In reality, Jews account for 0.19 percent of the world’s people.

Though the survey found Muslims to harbor more anti-Semitic views than Christians, Hindus and Buddhists — and Protestants fared better in the survey than Catholics — a person’s region seemed to correlate more strongly with views on Jews than did a person’s religion.

Among Muslims, nearly half (49 percent) were found to hold anti-Semitic views. But across the Muslim-majority Middle East and North Africa, 75 percent of Muslims held anti-Semitic views. Muslims outside of the Middle East and North Africa showed lower levels of anti-Semitic attitudes; 64 percent of Christians in the Middle East and North Africa held anti-Semitic views, compared with 24 percent of Christians overall.

Regionally, 74 percent of all respondents in the Middle East and North Africa held anti-Semitic attitudes. That compares with 23 percent of all people in sub-Saharan Africa, 22 percent in Asia, 19 percent in the Americas and 14 percent in Oceania, the region with the lowest anti-Semitic scores in the world.

The survey shows that Greece, at 69 percent, has the highest levels of anti-Semitic attitudes of any country outside the Middle East, a proportion far higher than the Western European average of 24 percent.  Already, Foxman said, “the prime minister of Greece had learned of our findings and requested that we come and visit.”

A surprisingly large majority of respondents (74 percent) said they had never met a Jew, and of those, one in four displayed anti-Semitic attitudes. Of the 26 percent of people worldwide who harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, 70 percent said they had never met a Jewish person, the survey showed.

Survey researchers polled more than 53,000 adults in 96 languages. The study has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points for most countries.

The survey was funded by a grant from New York philanthropist Leonard Stern. Foxman said the survey cost “a lot” but declined to disclose the exact cost.

KRE/MG END MARKOE

The Holocaust – Global Awareness and Denial

Graphic courtesy of Anti-Defamation League

39 Comments

  1. The Holocaust denial is really the most unsettling element. It is not a belief borne of historical ignorance as it is a deliberate antisemitic attack on the facts for a specific political point.

    There is nothing resembling a good faith belief in the subject. Holocaust denial always involves deliberate fabrication and misrepresentation. This was apparent during the David Irving Trial. His views and works were subject to objective examination and the inherently dishonest nature came through for the world to see.
    http://www.hdot.org/

    • All of these arguments against prejudice are right, very right, but we must never let go of the reality that prejudice is a “double-edged sword,” it cuts both ways. I despise anti-semitic prejudice, all prejudice, but many Jews also have corrections of attitudes and practices to make. In spite of all the prejudice they have suffered through history, not all Jews are innocent of prejudice toward non-Jews. Consider the problems between the Jews and Arabs in Old Palestine-New Israel. That land has been home to both for thousands of years. Why can’t the differences–the prejudices–be resolved.

      One would think that those who have suffered prejudice so badly would be among the staunchest proponents for ending prejudice. We find that is not so, not with Jews, not with Christians, not with blacks or browns, not with whites, not with reds or yellows, not with straights, and not with the gays they make.

      One of the few remaining groups displaying great prejudice who couldn’t be prejudiced against because of their overwhelming majority and power, though that prejudice seems to be decreasing, is that of straights toward gays. Straights make gays and then the throw them away, or “under the bus,” as the saying goes..

      • @Gilhan,

        You are engaging in the thing you protest.

        From what I read, “Jews” of Israel are divided on what to do. Jews do need a country of their own to protect them as a nationality (I believe this). But a smaller percentage of Jews are nationalistic Zionists.

        Religion is the problem. ‘Religion’ validates Zionism, Islamism and Evangelical Christianity – which are all at odds over the same junky pieces of desert.

        PEOPLE ARE ALL THE SAME. The thing that divides them are these stupid, ancient, tribal cultural chains built on the BS that is religion.

        • Agreed.

          “Why can’t the differences–the prejudices–be resolved.”

          Because religious BS sets up out-group prejudice.

          “One would think that those who have suffered prejudice so badly would be among the staunchest proponents for ending prejudice.”

          If they forgot their religious BS one would think that. If they forgot their religious BS their main reason for prejudice would simple evaporate. But religious BS prevents “one from thinking”.

          • @Al Sargent,

            “religious BS prevents one from thinking”

            Exactly. ‘Faith’ itself is the problem and it is a dumb argument if the evidence shows there is no benefit to humanity.

            One day,
            at the edge of a volcano somewhere in South America
            A father had the horrible dawning awareness
            that throwing his virgin daughter into the volcano
            didn’t stop the lava flow.
            And by then, the one thing that brought him joy in life was gone.

            The world must wake up to the nonsense of religion.

        • There are plenty of other things that divide people besides religion: politics, nationality, race, class, gender, sexual orientation, philosophy, region. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that religion is the problem. People are the problem. Instead of preaching the destruction of religion, it would be more effective to preach the love of your fellow human beings regardless of religion.

          • @Daniel,

            The age old problem of how to build a better society would benefit greatly
            from abandoning the delusion that blood sacrifice of Jesus, genital mutilation and suicide bombing is part of a solution to humanity’s problems.

            There is a reason the US Constitution forbids religious dogma from American Law.

            “If a man believes absurdities, he will commit atrocities” – Voltaire.

          • Suicide bombings were invented by the Tamil Tigers as a way to fight for Communism, not religion. It was later adopted by religious terrorists.

            Religion does not cause the problem of people being evil, people do. It is clear from history that people can be very evil in the absence of religion belief (e.g. Stalin). It is ridiculous to believe that getting rid of religion will make the world a better place because people will just use other differences to justify their atrocities.

            Bringing it back to Voltaire, man does not need religion to believe absurdities. I believe that the desire for money, sex, and power have caused a lot more atrocities than religion ever will and those are desires that exist regardless of someones religious beliefs.

          • From an NPR article:
            Actually, the Tamil Tigers are a purely secular suicide terrorist group. They’re not a group that most of the listeners will have heard too much about because even though they’re actually the world leader in suicide terrorism from 1980 to 2003, carrying out more suicide attacks than Hamas or Islamic Jihad,…
            But they are not religious. They’re not Islamic. They’re a Hindu group. They’re a Marxist group. They’re actually anti-religious. They are building the concept of martyrdom around a secular idea of individuals essentially altruistically sacrificing for the good of the local community.

          • @DANIEL,

            The suicide bombing community is almost entirely religious. It is a faith-based enterprise. The Tamil Tigers are a tiny exception in a vast pool of religious murder. And I’m not convinced the Tamils are ‘faith-free’ anyway.

            Countries with no religion and the highest number of Atheists remain the most peaceful, egalitarian, prosperous, crime-free nations. Their majorities have almost no interest in gods* :

            Finland

            France

            Japan

            Denmark
            
Estonia

            Sweden

            Norway

            The Netherlands
            
United Kingdom

            Holland

            Scandinavia

            Luxembourg

            Uruguay

            Germany


            *Gallup Polling, 2005
And according to Pew Research
religion is dying out faster in more countries today
than it is spreading.

          • @Atheist Max

            It is obvious that you are determined to pin all bad things in the world on religion in spite of the facts presented by history, social science, and common sense.

            I leave you to your faith that ridding the world of religion will somehow magically make people nicer and less violent. I do not think that I could muster that kind of belief, it would be easier to believe in the flying spaghetti monster.

          • My only determination is to follow the evidence wherever it leads.
            Evidence so far shows religion is generally bad.

            You can’t call it faith if evidence is my test.

          • @DANIEL,

            You said, “I believe that the desire for money, sex, and power have caused a lot more atrocities than religion ever will”

            Have you really looked at history? Look:

            Wall Street’s blank checks are funded by Republicans Evangelicals.
            Putin’s Oligarchy is rising with the direct help of the Russian Orthodox Church.
            Israel steals land in the name of Yahweh’s Covenant with Zionists.
            Iranian Clerics hold dictatorial power by RELIGIOUS DECREE.
            Mexican Drug gangs are ‘blessed’ by Santa Muerte, a death cult of millions.
            Franco’s Spain – merciless fascist oppression by Catholics.
            Hitler, Stalin, Hirohito and Mousolini would have never gained power without RELIGION.
            Rwandan Genocide killed 800,000 – perpetrated by Catholics and their Priests!

            North Korea remains the most religious country on earth requiring round the clock worship of the Dear Leader, born of a virgin, whose miraculous birth was accompanied by birds singing in Korean!

            Religion is the best friend of the powerful.
            Know your enemy. It is religion.

  2. jason Mckenzie

    What a sad reality, 26% of people are anti-semites, 70% of those have never even met a Jew..I have to admit that I’d tick one or two of those questions, particularly in regard to the ” Do Jews have too much control in world finances “..A lot of people automatically knee-jerk response and don’t question anything. I do. Take a look at who has enjoyed control of the Federal Reserve-Jews. Look at the amount of dual US/Israeli nationals that have power in congress. Ditto for who controls the main news media outlets/Hollywood. What blockbuster movie/sitcoms don’t have either Jewish actors or directors/producers?..I’ve done my own research on the subject. Jews owning/controlling media compared to other races is way over-proportionate..Not that I care!. I’m just saying that there are reasons for anti-anything. Jews have been chased out of many countries over the centuries, often due to their dominance of money-lending institutions and their formerly high usury rates. Historically, anti-semitism was not without it’s reasons..But, are these reasons enough that I should start hating on Jewish people?, Not me, our Creator made us better than that.

  3. For whatever good or correctness such estimates might be, what about all the other prejudices that exhibit the awful sickness of the human race, not just in spite of religion, but because of religion and other conditionings?

    What about the prejudice in so-called white people toward people of any darker shades? What about the prejudice in people who are born/raised and finally confirmed in opposite-sex orientation toward those who are born/raised and finally confirmed with a same-sex orientation? What about the prejudice of caucasians toward orientals? And what about the prejudice of the wealthy toward those who have not had their opportunities or inherited their wealth–people like Donald Trump and the Koch brothers.

    And what about the prejudice of males toward females even in those males who prefer females as their sex objects?

    All prejudice is evil. It is mental/emotional illness. It has a powerful origin in ignorance, and the prejudice lasts long beyond any chance to recognize that ignorance as its origin. Much of the environment in which we are raised is loaded with ignorance that results in the awful mental and emotional illnesses that are exhibited in prejudices of all kinds.

  4. Gee, I wonder where anti-semitism comes from?

    “..bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King and execute them in front of me.” – Jesus (Luke 19:27)

    Next comes the screeching about context. As if context could soften the impact of such a sentence coming from the mouth of a God!

    Religion is divisive, hurtful nonsense. All of it is tribalism on steroids.
    Gods are cultural delusions and nothing more.

    • The view that religious beliefs are the sole cause of anti-Semitism ignores social science and history. The study from the article shows that region is a much bigger influence than religion. The anti-Semitism of Hitler and Stalin was not based in religious beliefs. I think that it is pretty obvious that anti-Semitism is not produced by religious beliefs, although religion may be a component for some people.

      Oh, and context does matter in what God says. If you only take partial quotes from the ten commandments, for example, you could argue God was commanding all sorts of things. If you ascribe a quote to Jesus as if it is what he actually is saying we should do rather than speaking as a character in a parable, like is the case in Luke 19 that you cite, you can come to all kinds of weird interpretations of the scriptures. The Bible is hard enough to interpret without people deliberately taking quotes out of context.

      • @DANIEL,

        Wrong. You are not entitled to your own ‘facts’.

        “The anti-Semitism of Hitler and Stalin was not based in religious beliefs.”
        Not true.

        Hitler, a Catholic, was certain about the meaning of the parable of the Minas:

        “Bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King and Execute them in front of me.” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

        Hitler’s first peace treaty in 1933 was with the Vatican. Hitler’s birthday was celebrated in churches from pulpits and with the ringing of church bells in Europe every April – EVEN DURING THE WAR through 1945.

        Hitler was given veto power over whom the Pope could appoint as a bishop in Germany and forged a treaty whereas the National Socialist state was officially recognized by the Catholic Church. In a letter to the Nazi party, he wrote “…this treaty shows the whole world clearly and unequivocally that the assertion that National Socialism is hostile to religion is a lie.”

        Furthermore, Hitler was confirmed as a “SOLDIER of CHRIST” and his goal was to become a priest. He was never excommunicated or condemned and the church had stated that he was “Avenging for God” in attacking the Jews for they deemed the Semites the killers of Jesus.

        “….the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.”
- Adolf Hitler (following the
 position of Martin Luther), Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 11

        

”Hence today I believe that I am 
acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself
 against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.” -Adolf Hitler
(Mein Kampf)

        As for Stalin, a Russian Orthodox Seminarian, his anti-semitism was a tactic in seizing the wide network of Orthodox Churches under his thumb as he seized the position of “CZAR” (a religious position for centuries) and lorded over the destruction of millions of people.

        Putin is doing the same thing today! Using the Russian Orthodoxy to rise to power – carbon copy of Stalin’s method.

        “I looked into his heart, he told me about the crucifix his grandmother gave him and I know his heart is good.” – George W. Bush

        Religion is a danger to the world.

        • @Atheist Max

          Your twisting of the facts is not credible.

          Hitler did not use Catholicism to justify his extermination of the Jews, he was using pseudo-science and nationalism. Your quotes do not at all link Hitler’s antisemitism to his religious identity.

          Stalin was trying to control Orthodox Christians, but only because he was attempting to implement state-sponsored atheism. Orthodox Christians were repressed in Stalin’s regime, not celebrated or supported.

          I agree that religion has been used as justification for atrocities (including antiSemitism), but atrocities would happen without religion. Probably even more atrocities would happen because of fewer people being exposed to the love your fellow human being message of religion.
          People do evil things because they love money and power and control over others, not because they believe in God. Religion just becomes a tool in the hand of those trying to fulfill their lusts for money and power, but if it isn’t there people will just as easily use a different tool.

          • Check out the wikipedia article on Hitler’s religious views and you will get a very different picture from your cherry-picked quotes about what he believed about religion.

          • The Nazis used religious appeals for many things. They were able to recruit collaborators through the churches to fight on the Eastern Front and to volunteer to work at the death camps. The Vatican had a pipeline for war criminals to escape world justice. In Croatia the Catholic Church worked hand in hand to commit atrocities against Serbs and Jews.
            [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasenovac_concentration_camp ]

            The last forced conversions to Catholicism were done there in 1944. The alternative to conversion being death or deportation to concentration camps.

            Stalin did not share power with anybody, not even fellow communists. The Orthodox Church, was unpopular under Lenin due to its direct ties to the Monarchy and destitution of the public. Communists didn’t have to do much to whip up support against the church. All the communists did was replace worship of God with worship of the state. Atheist in the same vein that Nazis were religious.

      • @Daniel,

        “you can come to all kinds of weird interpretations of the scriptures.”

        Exactly.
        So how harmful is it to deem every interpretation to be ‘The Word of God’ as Christians do?

        And who is the author of that interpretation?
        Who is the authority by which the interpretation becomes ‘the correct one’?

        Don’t say God.
        Because the reader surrenders his brain at the door.
        His own thinking becomes the word of God.

        The Bible is dangerous nonsense.

        • My point is that taking quotes out of context doesn’t help the situation and only adds to the problem.

          Christians do not deem every interpretation of the Bible to be “The Word of God.” That assertion is ridiculous. There are several different creeds, councils, theologians, and denominations that all take their own particular view of how the Bible should be interpreted. You should actually talk to some Christians before you try to assert what they believe.

          • And yet the Catholic Church had to go out of its way to disavow centuries of antisemitism it propagated after WWII. If you were being honest and accurate, such things would never have been necessary.

            The European Lutheran Churches incorporated antisemitism from their inception starting with Martin Luther. With the exception of the Danish Lutheran Church, they were all willing collaborators with the Nazis.

            Antisemitism was a major part of Fundamentalist Christianity up until about a generation ago. Once conservatives got on the Pro-Israel bandwagon and stopped kissing oil sheik posteriors, they suddenly became rabid zionists.

          • Hey, Daniel
            I could make the Bible a better book of morality by just changing every quote where God recommends slavery to say “do not own people.”
            If I did that one thing alone and put the book down it would be a better book.
            Now how do you explain why my morality is better than God’s?
            And explain, please, why there are any ‘bad cherries’ in God’s book at all.

            We atheists do understand the bible pretty darn good.

  5. Sister Geraldine Marie

    I’m very saddened at the news that anti-Semitism is still so prevalent and this in the 21st century! So that people may learn why the Jewish people became moneylenders in the first place: In the Middle Ages, it was forbidden to lend money at interest (“usury”) if one was a Christian, so the Jews as “non-believers” could perform this function, according to the Christian Church! With money, comes power, of course, and the Jews needed some power to try to avoid at least some of the persecution and pogroms that descended upon them so frequently. They also entered the law profession, so that they knew their rights as a persecuted people, wherever they were allowed to go.
    And these actions taken against the very people that the Lord, Mary, the Apostles and all the first followers of “The Way” (which was the description for those who followed Jesus was used and not Christianity) came from! In other words, they were all Jews!

    “…for salvation is from the Jews.” (John 4:22)

    • @Sister,

      Don’t forget that Jews were not allowed to own farm land in many European countries so white collar jobs were the only option.
      Over centuries this worked to the advantage of Jews in that narrow way. The ignorant anti-Semitism that forced Jews into that labor force would be used to blame ‘the jews’ later for becoming a larger proportion of bankers.

      Christianity, like the Judaism before it from which it is plagiarized is relentlessly ignorant, tribalistic and solipsistic. Religion builds walls while professing to break them down – a disastrous illusion.

      Faith remains the worst argument ever invented.

  1. […] New Survey of Attitudes Toward Jews in More Than 100 Countries The first-ever global study of anti-Semitic attitudes shows that more than a quarter of the world’s population harbors intense anti-Jewish sentiment, with region, more than religion, shaping people’s view of Jews and Judaism. The poll, released Tuesday by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League, also finds that a large proportion of the world has never heard of the Holocaust or denies historical accounts of it. Of those polled, 46 percent have either not heard of the Holocaust that killed 6 million Jews or think it is a myth or exaggerated. (Lauren Markoe, Religion News Service) […]

  2. […] Rashid spends a great deal of time excoriating Christian anti-Semitism, and it rightly should be excoriated; however, it is not Christians who are responsible for the sharp recent rise in anti-Semitism in post-Christian Europe; it is that continent’s rapidly increasing number of Muslims. Yet while noting that “anti-Semitism is a worldwide epidemic,” Rashid ignores the fact that its highest levels are found in Muslim countries. […]

  3. […] Rashid spends a great deal of time excoriating Christian anti-Semitism, and it rightly should be excoriated; however, it is not Christians who are responsible for the sharp recent rise in anti-Semitism in post-Christian Europe; it is that continent’s rapidly increasing number of Muslims. Yet while noting that “anti-Semitism is a worldwide epidemic,” Rashid ignores the fact that its highest levels are found in Muslim countries. […]

  4. […] Rashid spends a great deal of time excoriating Christian anti-Semitism, and it rightly should be excoriated; however, it is not Christians who are responsible for the sharp recent rise in anti-Semitism in post-Christian Europe; it is that continent’s rapidly increasing number of Muslims. Yet while noting that “anti-Semitism is a worldwide epidemic,” Rashid ignores the fact that its highest levels are found in Muslim countries. […]

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