New York, NY, September 26, 2011 … A new survey of attitudes toward Jews in Argentina reveals classical anti-Semitic stereotypes deeply ingrained in society, with more than half of Argentineans believing that Jews are more loyal to Israel than Argentina, and nearly 70 percent believing that Jews have "too much power" in business.
Attitudes Towards Jews in Argentina (PDF) an opinion survey of 1,510 adults in eight major Argentine cities, was commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Delegation of Argentinean Jewish Associations (DAIA). It is the first ADL-DAIA poll of anti-Semitic attitudes in Argentina, which is home to more than 180,000 Jews, the largest Jewish community in Latin America.
The ADL-DAIA survey was conducted from October 8 through November 12, 2010 by the Gino Germani Research Institute of the University of Buenos Aires in an effort to evaluate the prevalence of anti-Semitic attitudes among the general Argentinean population.
Among its findings:
- More than half of those surveyed agree with the statement that "Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country."
- 82% of those surveyed believe that Jews are mainly interested in doing well in business and earning money.
- 68% believe that "Jews have too much power in the business world."
- Similarly, 65% adhere to the notion that "Jews have too much power in international financial markets."
- 49% believe that Jews "talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust."
- 22% say Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus.
- 14% say their opinion of Jews is influenced by actions taken by the State of Israel.
- 66% believe that violence directed against Jews is a result of anti-Jewish prejudice, while 21% believe it is a result of anti-Israel sentiment.
- 41% of respondents believe that Argentina is doing enough to ensure the safety and security of its Jewish citizens.
- 41% of those surveyed believe Jews are responsible for the current (global) economic crisis (with varying degrees of responsibility).
"The survey shows that anti-Semitic attitudes are deeply ingrained in Argentina," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "It is disturbing that such a large portion of the Argentinean population buys into classical anti-Semitic stereotypes. The notions that Jews have too much power in business, are too concerned with making money, or are not loyal to their country are traditional anti-Semitic motifs that have contributed to centuries of persecution against the Jewish people."
The survey was commissioned by ADL and DAIA in an effort to shed light on anti-Semitic attitudes in response to a wave of anti-Semitic incidents in Argentina over the last decade. The incidents have included physical attacks on Jewish individuals, cemetery desecrations, vandalism to Jewish institutions and Jewish-owned business -- sometimes in connection with heightened tensions in the Israeli-Arab conflict, and at other times absent a major conflict involving the Jewish State.
"For some time we have realized that analyzing the anti-Semitic incidents reported to us from across the country are one measure of anti-Semitism, but we needed to delve deeper and to look at the root of the problem," said Fabian Galante, Secretary General of the DAIA. "Using questions developed by the ADL in its landmark surveys of anti-Semitism in the United States and in Europe, we were able to better understand how anti-Semitic attitudes help foster prejudice and spur violence in society."
"This survey also enabled us to validate some of our ideas about the types of anti-Semitic beliefs that color attitudes toward Jews in society," added Aldo Donzis, President of the DAIA." For instance, the survey found that violent acts against Jews in Argentina are motivated more by anti-Jewish sentiment, than negative attitudes toward Israel. The survey allows us to understand more clearly the challenges we face and helps us to plan strategically on how to respond to those challenges."
Respondents were asked a series of indicator questions representing the most pernicious notions of anti-Semitism and whether they agreed or disagreed with the following statements:
- Jews are more loyal to Israel than to Argentina;
- Jews have too much power in the business world;
- Jews have too much power in international financial markets;
- Jews still talk too much about what happened in the Holocaust.
- The Jews are responsible for the death of Christ.
Respondents were also asked:
- If their opinion of Jews was influenced by actions taken by the State of Israel and whether they believed the violence directed against Argentinian Jews was a result of anti-Jewish feelings or anti-Israel sentiment.
- Do you think that the Argentinean government guarantees the safety of its Jewish citizens?
- How much blame do you place on Jews in the financial industry for the current (global) economic crisis?
The survey was conducted in Spanish among the general population, with a margin of error of +/- 2.6% at 95.5% level of confidence.