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Press Release

ADL Survey in Ten European Countries Finds Anti-Semitism at Disturbingly High Levels

New York, NY, March 20, 2012 … Anti-Semitic attitudes in ten European countries remain at "disturbingly high levels," according to a new poll from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released today, 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.

Attitudes Toward Jews in Ten European Countries (PDF), an ADL opinion survey of 5,000 adults – 500 in each of ten European countries – revealed that pernicious anti-Semitic beliefs continue to be held by nearly one-third of those surveyed.

The poll was conducted between Jan. 2-31, 2012 in Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom. The survey has a margin of error of between +/- 4.43 and +/- 4.85, depending on the specific country.

"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 H. Foxman, ADL 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 France, where a shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse yesterday claimed the lives of three small children and a teacher, the overall level of anti-Semitism increased to 24 percent of the population, an increase from 20 percent in a previous ADL poll conducted in 2009. In France, 45 percent of respondents attributed the violence against European Jews to anti-Jewish feelings, an increase from 39 percent in 2009.

Other findings for France include: 45 percent of the population responded "probably true" to the statement "Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country; 35 percent agreed that "Jews have too much power in the business world; and 35 percent believe that "Jews still talk too much about what happened to them during the Holocaust.

When asked for their opinion about anti-Semitic violence directed against Jews, and whether that violence is the result of anti-Jewish feelings as opposed to anti-Israel sentiment, overall, 39 percent of Europeans responded that it was the result of anti-Jewish sentiments. "In France, you have a volatile mix," Mr. Foxman said. "France has seen an increase in the level of anti-Semitism. At the same time, more people today believe that violence directed against European Jews is fueled by anti-Jewish attitudes as opposed to anti-Israel sentiment. "Those increases are all the more disturbing in light of the shooting attack at the Jewish school in Toulouse."

In comparison with a similar ADL poll conducted in 2009, several of the countries showed dangerously high levels in the overall level of anti-Semitism, while other countries experienced more modest increases.

The overall findings among the countries for which comparison data is available:

  • Austria experienced a slight decrease, to 28 percent from 30 percent in 2009.
  • France: The overall level of anti-Semitism increased to 24 percent of the population, up from to 20 percent in 2009.
  • Germany: Anti-Semitism increased by one percentage point, to 21 percent of the population.
  • Hungary: The level rose to 63 percent of the population, compared with 47 percent in 2009;
  • Poland: The number remained unchanged, with 48 percent of the population showing deep-seated anti-Semitic attitudes.
  • Spain: Fifty-three percent (53%) percent of the population, compared to 48 percent in 2009.
  • United Kingdom: Anti-Semitic attitudes jumped to 17 percent of the population, compared to 10 percent in 2009.

Country-by-Country Findings on Anti-Semitic Attitudes

In responding "probably true" to the statement, "Jews are more loyal to Israel" than their own country, the 2012 survey found:

  • Austria – 47%, unchanged from 2009
  • France – 45%, up from 38% in 2009
  • Germany – 52%, down from 53% in 2009
  • Hungary – 55%, up from 40% in 2009
  • Italy – 61% in 2012
  • Netherlands – 47% in 2012
  • Norway – 58% in 2012
  • Poland – 61%, down from 63% in 2009
  • Spain – 72%, up from 64% in 2009
  • The United Kingdom – 48%, up from 37% in 2009

In responding "probably true" to the statement, "Jews have too much power in the business world," the 2012 survey found:

  • Austria – 30%, down from 36% in 2009
  • France – 35%, up from 33% in 2009
  • Germany – 22%, up from 21% in 2009
  • Hungary – 73%, up from 67% in 2009
  • Italy – 39% in 2012
  • The Netherlands – 10% in 2012
  • Norway – 21% in 2012
  • Poland – 54%, down from 55% in 2009
  • Spain – 60%, up from 56% in 2009
  • The United Kingdom – 20%, up from 15% in 2009

In responding "probably true" to the statement "Jews have too much power in international financial markets," the 2012 survey found:

  • Austria – 38%, up from 37% in 2009
  • France – 29%, up from 27% in 2009
  • Germany – 24%, up from 22% in 2009
  • Hungary – 75%, up from 59% in 2009
  • Italy – 43% in 2012
  • The Netherlands – 17% in 2012
  • Norway -- 23% in 2012
  • Poland – 54%, unchanged from 2009
  • Spain – 67%, down from 74% in 2009
  • The United Kingdom – 22%, up from 15% in 2009

In responding "probably true" to the statement, "Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust," the 2012 survey found:

  • Austria – 45%, down from 55% in 2009
  • France – 35%, up from 33% in 2009
  • Germany – 43%, down from 45% in 2009
  • Hungary – 63%, up from 56% in 2009
  • Italy – 48% in 2012
  • The Netherlands – 31% in 2012
  • Norway – 25% in 2012
  • Poland – 53%, down from 55% in 2009
  • Spain – 47%, up from 42% in 2009
  • The United Kingdom – 24%, up from 20% in 2009

ADL commissioned First International Resources to conduct the survey. Fielded in Europe by Ipsos-Reid Public Affairs, it was conducted in the national language of each country. The margin of error is +/- 4.43 to +/- 4.85, depending on the specific country, at 95% level of confidence.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.