Anti-Semitism low in US, high in Greece, says global survey

Greece was the most anti-Semitic country in Western Europe, and Sweden was the least, based on an Anti-Defamation League survey of 102 countries. In the United States, nine percent of adults were found to harbor anti-Semitic views.

Anti-Semitism remains prevalent around the world with one in four adults surveyed in a new international study expressing anti-Jewish sentiment, according to a new study released Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League.

The ADL Global 100 Index found someone to be anti-Semitic if they answered "probably" or "definitely" true to six or more of 11 stereotypes about Jews offered on the survey.

The survey, which the ADL called "the broadest survey of anti-Jewish attitudes ever conducted," found the lowest level of anti-Semitism in Laos, with just 0.2 percent of the adult population expressing such views. The highest level of anti-Semitism was found in the West Bank and Gaza at 93 percent.

Greece was the most anti-Semitic country in Western Europe, with 69 percent of the adults surveyed expressing such opinions and Sweden, with four percent, was the least. In the United States, nine percent of adults were found to harbor anti-Semitic views.

"Our findings are sobering but sadly not surprising," said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman. "We can now identify hotspots, as well as countries and regions of the world where hatred of Jews is virtually non-existent."

Foxman said findings about Greece had already led to an invitation from that country's prime minister to discuss possible remedies.

"Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country/to the countries they live in," was the most commonly accepted stereotype with 41 percent of respondents surveyed across 101 countries and the West Bank and Gaza saying that it was at least "probably true." The second most accepted stereotype, held by 35 percent of respondents, was: "Jews have too much power in the business world."

The survey also found that only 54 percent of those polled had heard about the Holocaust, a figure Foxman called "disturbingly low."

Holocaust awareness was highest in Western Europe where 94 percent of respondents said they had heard about it and lowest in sub-Sarahan Africa with only 24 percent.

According to the survey, 49 percent of Muslims hold anti-Semitic views compared with 24 percent of Christians.

But Jeffery Liszt, who oversaw the survey for Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, said that anti-Semitic views conformed more closely to region than religion with 75 percent Muslims in the Mideast and North Africa holding anti-Semitic views while only 18 percent of Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa expressing similar sentiments.

The Mideast and North Africa region was found to the most anti-Semitic and the Oceania region the least, followed by the Americas.

Anti-Semitic attitudes were relatively low in English speaking countries at 13 percent compared with 30 percent for Spanish speaking countries, the report found.

The survey also found that among the 74 percent of those surveyed who said that they had never met a Jewish person, 25 percent nonetheless harbored anti-Semitic attitudes.

The survey interviewed 53,100 adults across 102 countries with funding from New York philanthropist Leonard Stern. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 0.97 percentage points for results across all nations surveyed and varies for results from individual nations.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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