A new Anti-Defamation League poll found that anti-Semitic attitudes in several European countries have increased marginally since 2009. Levels of anti-Semitism have increased most dramatically in Hungary, the United Kingdom and Spain compared to 2009.
The survey covering ten European countries indicated that anti-Semitic attitudes in these nations remain at "disturbingly high levels", with large swaths of the population subscribing to classical anti-Semitic notions such as Jews having too much power in business, being more loyal to Israel than their own country, or "talking too much" about what happened during the Holocaust.
In almost all cases, the changes were minor and well within the roughly 4.5 percent margin of error. One notable exception was Hungary, where the rate of anti-Semitic attitudes rose to 63 percent from 47 percent in 2009. In the United Kingdom, the rate increased to 17 percent from 10 percent. "The survey is disturbing by the fact that anti-Semitism remains at high levels across the continent and infects many Europeans at a much higher level than we see here in the United States," said Abraham Foxman, the ADL's national director. "In Hungary, Spain and Poland the numbers for anti-Semitic attitudes are literally off the charts and demand a serious response from political, civic and religious leaders."
In Hungary the survey found the following percentage responding "probably true" to at least three of the four anti-Semitic stereotypes:
Overall population - 63%
Over the age of 65 -68%
Did not continue education beyond age 17 - 69%
Earn less than EUR 11,000 a year - 64%.
To the statement "Jews are responsible for the death of Christ" 46% said yes ("strongly agree" or "somewhat agree") in Poland and 38% in Hungary. The next is Spain with 21%. Hungarian and Polish respondents are most likely to believe that anti-Jewish sentiment is the reason behind the violence directed against Jews in their two countries. In the former country 51% say the reason is anti-Jewish feelings and only 28% believe the cause is anti-Israel sentiment. In Poland the ratios are 50% and 24%, respectively. Those surveyed in Norway and the Netherlands are most likely to cite anti-Israel sentiment as the main cause of violence against Jews.
Interestingly enough 73% of the Hungarian respondents think their government is doing enough to ensure the safety and security of its Jewish citizens and only 23% disagree.
The countries with the lowest rates of anti-Semitic attitudes were the Netherlands, at 10 percent; Norway, at 16 percent; and the United Kingdom, at 17 percent. The highest rates were in Hungary (63 percent), Spain (53 percent) and Poland (48 percent).The likelihood of anti-Semitic attitudes was higher among older people, those without post-secondary education and those with lower incomes. The survey also found that anti-Semitic attitudes were generally higher in the only two former Soviet bloc countries included, Poland and Hungary.