New York, NY, June 30, 2015 … 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, according to a new poll from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released today.
The ADL poll of adults in 19 countries, fielded March 10 through April 3, 2015, found minimal change in the levels of anti-Semitic attitudes in most of the countries compared to a year ago, when the League polled 102 countries in a groundbreaking worldwide survey of anti-Semitism, the ADL Global 100 Index.
The most pronounced difference was found in France – scene of the horrific terror attacks earlier this year targeting Jews and journalists – where the number of those expressing anti-Semitic attitudes plummeted from 37 percent in 2014 to 17 percent in 2015. Germany likewise experienced a decline from 27 to 16 percent, and Belgium from 27 to 21 percent. ADL polled an additional 500 respondents in each of these three countries to confirm the overall declines in anti-Semitic attitudes.
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.
“After the recent murders of Jews in Belgium and France and attacks on synagogues in Germany, we decided to look at the impact on anti-Semitic attitudes among the national population following high-profile violence against Jews and the condemnations by European leaders,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “The poll found a marked increase in concern about violence against Jews in all three countries. The results indicate that heightened awareness of violence against Jews fosters a sense of solidarity with the Jewish community and that strong condemnation by political and civic leaders makes expressing anti-Semitism less acceptable. The ADL Global 100 Index is the benchmark of anti-Semitic attitudes around the world, and we plan to continue polling periodically to measure changes and the effect of events on anti-Jewish attitudes.”
In the 2015 follow-up to its groundbreaking inaugural Global 100 Index survey released last year, ADL polled 10,000 adults on their attitudes and opinions toward Jews in 19 countries, including nine countries in Western Europe and six countries in Eastern Europe. The poll also includes new findings for Argentina, the United States, Iran and Turkey. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percent in all countries, except the U.S., where the margin of error was +/- 3.2 percent.
Respondents who answered “probably true” to six or more of 11 negative stereotypes about Jews were deemed as holding anti-Semitic attitudes. The 11-question index has been used by ADL as a key metric in measuring anti-Semitic attitudes in the United States for the last 50 years.
For the first time, the ADL poll measured Muslim attitudes in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. An average of 55 percent of Western European Muslims harbored anti-Semitic attitudes. Acceptance of anti-Semitic stereotypes by Muslims in these countries was substantially higher than among the national population in each country, though lower than corresponding figures of 75 percent in 2014 for Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Interviews were conducted in those regions with significant Muslim populations in each country. The margin of error for Muslims in each country is +/-9.8 percent, and for the combined Western European Muslim oversample for all six countries is +/-4 percent.
Most prevalent was the belief that “Jews have too much power in international financial markets” – an anti-Jewish canard affirmed by 70 percent of Western European Muslims.
On most conspiracy-related statements, scores of European and MENA Muslims showed little difference. On negative statements about Jewish character, e.g. “people hate Jews because of the way they behave” and “Jews think they are better than other people,” European Muslims scored substantially lower than MENA Muslims.
ADL commissioned First International Resources to update the ADL Global 100 Poll of attitudes and opinions toward Jews. Fieldwork and data collection for this global opinion project were conducted and coordinated by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research.
The ADL Global 100 poll was made possible by a generous grant from New York philanthropist Leonard Stern.
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.