Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Half of the British public believes that Jews are more loyal to Israel than to Britain, an Anti-Defamation League poll shows


The survey of six European countries showed a rise in anti-Semitic attitudes. But it also indicated that positive views of Israel were also on the rise.

Asked to respond to the statement "Jews are more loyal to Israel than their own country," the survey found that 50 percent of U.K. respondents replied "probably true," up from 39 percent two years ago.

Questioned as to boycotts against Israel by U.K.-based organizations, 43 percent of British respondents said they opposed them, while 37 percent expressed support for them.

The research showed that anti-Semitic attitudes were particularly marked in Hungary, where 61 percent of respondents said that it was probably true that Jesws have too much power in international financial markets, up from 55 percent in 2005, and that 60 percent believed that Jews have too much power in the business world.

"Millions of Europeans continue to accept a wide range of traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes and conspiracy theories, including the charge that Jews are more loyal to Israel than to their home country," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.

"Despite the fact that individual governments and the EU have condemned anti-Semitism and sought ways to counteract it, these attitudes die hard and help incite and legitimize anti-Semitic acts, including violence against Jews," he said in a statement.

Some 3,000 adults from six countries -Austria, Belgium, Hungary, The Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom- participated in the poll commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and were asked questions on topics ranging from the Holocaust, to whether they believe Jews killed Christ.

The poll results revealed an increase in anti-Jewish biases among respondents from a poll taken in 2005.

Overall, half of those surveyed said they believe that Jews are more loyal to Israel than to their own country, with a majority of respondents in Austria, Belgium, Hungary and the United Kingdom saying they believe that this statement is probably true.

In four of the six countries, Belgium, the Netherlands, Swizerland and the United Kingdom, respondents said they viewed Israel more favorably than in 2005. The favorability rating for israel dropped, meanwhile, in Austria and Hungary.

In addition, the poll revealed a small decrease in respondents' identification with Palestinians in the wake of internecine struggles in Gaza, though support for Palestinians as a whole remained strong.

Foxman said he was "especially concerned that the survey found a large percentage of all respondents, and a majority in Austria, Hungary and Switzerland, believe that American Jews control U.S. policy on the Middle East, an old canard that has been resurrected in mainstream America and bolsters existing European attitudes."

Report says anti-Semitic attitudes on the rise in much of Europe

Poll: Jews losing favor with Europeans


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