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Attitudes Toward Jews

in Twelve European Countries

May 2005
Prepared by:
First International Resources, LLC

823 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017 www.adl.org

Table of Contents

Methodology

Anti-Semitism in Europe

Trends in Anti-Semitic Attitudes

13

Age and Education

26

Methodology

First International Resources was commissioned by the AntiDefamation League to research attitudes and opinions toward Jews in
twelve European countries.

Our research focused on the prevalent attitudes of the general public


in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, the
Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and for the first time,
Poland and Hungary.

Data results for each individual country were weighted based on age
and gender. The completed interview data underwent minor weighting
to national population data using official government information on
age and gender.

In addition to the individual country results, we have compiled overall


European statistics which take into account the findings from the
twelve countries surveyed as a whole. These European figures are
combined results from our surveys, with each countrys findings being
weighted equally as one-twelfth of the whole.

Fieldwork was done by Taylor Nelson Sofres, which conducted a total


of 6,000 telephone interviews -- 500 in each of the twelve countries -among the general public between April 11 -- May 6, 2005.

Interviews were conducted in the native language of each of the


countries and were completed by TNS.

The margin of error for each country is +/- 4.5 at 95% level of
confidence.

Anti-Semitism in Europe
As with previous surveys, data from the 2005 European tracking
poll indicates that significant percentages of European
respondents continue to believe in some of the most pernicious
anti-Semitic stereotypes.
Respondents across the continent were asked whether or not they
thought the following four statements were probably true or
probably false.
1) Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country.
2) Jews have too much power in the business world.
3) Jews have too much power in international financial
markets.
4) Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in
the Holocaust
Respondents were also asked whether they agree or disagree with
the following statement:
The Jews are responsible for the death of Christ
Finally, respondents were asked if their opinion of Jews was
influenced by actions taken by the State of Israel and whether they
believed the violence directed against European Jews was a result
of anti-Jewish feelings or anti-Israel sentiment.

(1) Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country.


Percent responding probably true

60%

55%
52%

50%

51%

50%
41%

40%

43%

38%
36%

37%

Ho l l and

Hung ar y

38%

39%

29%

30%

20%

10%

0%
A us t r i a

B e l g i um

D enma r k

F r a nce

G e r ma ny

It aly

P o l and

S p a i n S w i t z e r l a nd

UK

The data indicates that Europeans continue to question the


loyalty of their Jewish citizens.
Overall, a plurality of those surveyed across Europe, 43
percent, believe that Jews are more loyal to Israel than to their
own country.
A majority of respondents in Italy, Germany, Poland and Spain
responded believe that this statement is probably true.
In fact, in ten of the twelve countries surveyed, a plurality of
respondents agree with the characterization that Jews are more
loyal to Israel than to their own country.

(2) Jews have too much power in the business world.


Percent responding probably true

60 %
55%

50 %
45%
43%

40 %
33%

33%

30 %
25%

24%

26%
20%
18%

20 %

14%
11%

10 %

0%
Austria Belgium D enmark

France

Germany Ho lland Hungary

Italy

Po land

Spain Switzerland

UK

Alarmingly high levels of those surveyed across Europe still


believe in the traditional anti-Jewish canard that Jews have too
much power in the business world.
Overall, nearly 30 percent of all respondents believe this
stereotype to be true.
Half of Hungarian respondents, 55 percent, believe that Jews
have too much power in the business world.

(3) Jews have too much power in international financial markets.


Percent responding probably true

60 %
55%

54%

50 %
43%

40 %
33%

33%
32%
30%

30 %
24%

24%

21%
19%

20 %

16%

10 %

0%
Austria

Belgium D enmark France

Germany Ho lland Hungary

Italy

Po land

Spain Switzerland

UK

Similarly, European respondents still adhere to the notion that


Jews have too much power in international financial markets.
Overall, 32 percent of those surveyed cling to the traditional
stereotype that Jews exert too much influence over
international financial markets.
A majority of Spanish and Hungarian respondents believe the
above statement to be probably true.

(4) Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the
Holocaust.
Percent responding probably true

60%
52%

50%

49%

48%

46%

46%

46%

48%

41%

40%
35%

34%

34%

30%

28%

20%

10%

0%
A us t r i a

B e l g i um D enmar k

F r ance

G e r many Ho l l a nd

Hung ar y

It aly

P o l and

S p a i n S w i t z e r l a nd

UK

Large portions of the European public continue to believe that

Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the
Holocaust.
Overall, 42 percent of those surveyed believe it is probably

true that Jews still talk too much about the Holocaust.
In fact, a plurality of respondents in Austria, Germany, Hungary,

Italy, Poland, Spain and Switzerland believe this notion to be


true.

(5) The Jews are responsible for the death of Christ.


Percent responding strongly agree + somewhat agree

50%

39%

40%

30%
22%
19%

20%

18%

16%

18%

20%

20%

20%

19%

14%

13%

10%

0%
A us t r i a

B e l g i um D enmar k

F r ance

G e r many Ho l l a nd

Hung ar y

It aly

P o l and

S p a i n S w i t z e r l a nd

UK

A significant percentage of those surveyed across Europe


continue to blame Jews for the death of Jesus.
Overall, 20 percent agree with the statement that Jews are
responsible for the death of Christ.
More than a third of Polish respondents, 39 percent, agree with
this statement -- the highest percentage of all the countries
surveyed.

10

(6a) Is your opinion of Jews influenced by actions taken by the


State of Israel?
Percent responding yes
50%

41%

40%

36%

37%
34%
31%
28%

30%

28%

26%

28%

25%
22%

20%
15%

10%

0%
A us t r i a

B e l g i um D enmar k

F r ance

G e r many Ho l l a nd

Hung ar y

It aly

P o l and

S p a i n S w i t z e r l a nd

UK

Overall, 29 percent of those surveyed across Europe say that


their opinion of Jews is influenced by the actions taken by the
State of Israel.
More than a third of those surveyed in Switzerland, Spain,
Austria and Denmark view Jews differently as a result of the
actions taken by Israel.

11

Respondents who answered yes in question 6a were


then asked the following questions:
(6b) Is your opinion of Jews better or worse?
Percent responding worse
80 %
69%

70 %

63%

62%
59%

60 %

56%
49%

51%

50%

50 %
39%

40 %

42%
38%

39%

30 %

20 %
10 %

0%
A us t r i a

B e l g i um D enma r k

F r a nc e

G er many Ho l l a nd

Hung ar y

It aly

P o l a nd

S p a i n S w i t z er l and

UK

Overall, of those respondents whose opinions are influenced, a


majority, 53 percent, say that their opinion of Jews is worse as
a result of the actions taken by Israel.
Respondents in Spain (69 percent), Belgium (63 percent) and
Holland (62 percent) are most likely to view Jews more
negatively as a result of actions taken by the State of Israel.

12

(7)

In your opinion, is the violence directed against European


Jews a result of anti-Jewish feelings or a result of antiIsrael sentiment?
70%
65%

60%

50%
46%
43%

41%
40%

44%

39%

39%
36%
32%

30%

27%

27%

34%

33%
31%

27%

27%

23%

24%
20%

21%
18%

20%

20%

17%

10%
10%

0%
A us tria

B elgium

Denmark

Franc e

Germany

Holland

Anti-Je w is h Fe e lings

Hungary

Italy

Poland

Spain

Switz erland

UK

Anti-Is rae l Se ntim e nt

Overall, 39 percent of those surveyed believe that the violence


directed against European Jews is a result of anti-Israel
sentiment while 23 percent believe it is a result of anti-Jewish
feelings.
Danish respondents are most likely to believe that anti-Israel
sentiment in the reason for behind the violence directed at
European Jews.
Polish respondents are most likely to believe that anti-Jewish
feelings are the cause of violence directed against Europes
Jews.

13

Trends in Anti-Semitic Attitudes


In 2004, the Anti-Defamation League conducted similar surveys of
European attitudes toward Jews. The following section compares
results from the 2004 survey with results from the recently completed
2005 tracking survey.
The 2005 survey indicates that over the past year there has
been some decline in the acceptance of certain traditional antiSemitic stereotypes in the European countries tested.
However, the opposite is true among respondents in Denmark,
where trends actually point to an increase in the percentage of
people agreeing with each of the traditional anti-Semitic
stereotypes tested.
Additionally, Spanish respondents are more likely to question
the loyalty of their Jewish citizens than they were in 2004.
Since 2004, there has been an increase in the percentage of
Italian respondents who believe that Jews have too much
power in the business world.
The data indicates that those surveyed in Italy and Spain are
now more likely to think that Jews still talk too much about
what happened to them in the Holocaust.
There has been a slight increase in the belief that Jews are
responsible for the death of Jesus in Austria, Belgium,
Denmark, Holland and Switzerland.
Given that 2005 was the first time polling was conducted in
Hungary and Poland, there are no previous results with which
to compare.

14

AUSTRIA
Percent responding probably true to
each statement

46%

2004

Jew s are more loyal to


Israel than to this country

2005

38%

25%

Jew s have too much


pow er in the business
w orld

24%

36%

Jew s have too much


pow er in international
financial markets

33%

54%

Jew s still talk too much


about w hat happened to
them in the Holocaust

0%

46%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

15

BELGIUM
Percent responding probably true to
each statement

46%

2004

Jew s are more loyal to


Israel than to this country

2005

41%

37%

Jew s have too much


pow er in the business
w orld

33%

36%

Jew s have too much


pow er in international
financial markets

33%

40%

Jew s still talk too much


about w hat happened to
them in the Holocaust

0%

41%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

16

DENMARK
Percent responding probably true to
each statement

2004

37%

Jew s are more loyal to


Israel than to this country

2005

43%

Jew s have too much


pow er in the business
w orld

9%

11%

18%

Jew s have too much


pow er in international
financial markets

21%

29%

Jew s still talk too much


about w hat happened to
them in the Holocaust

0%

35%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

17

FRANCE
Percent responding probably true to
each statement

2004

28%

Jew s are more loyal to


Israel than to this country

2005

29%

33%

Jew s have too much


pow er in the business
w orld

25%

29%

Jew s have too much


pow er in international
financial markets

24%

35%

Jew s still talk too much


about w hat happened to
them in the Holocaust

0%

34%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

18

GERMANY
Percent responding probably true to
each statement

50%

2004

50%

2005

Jew s are more loyal to


Israel than to this country

24%

Jew s have too much


pow er in the business
w orld

20%

27%

Jew s have too much


pow er in international
financial markets

24%

56%

Jew s still talk too much


about w hat happened to
them in the Holocaust

0%

48%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

19

THE NETHERLANDS
Percent responding probably true to
each statement

44%

2004

Jew s are more loyal to


Israel than to this country

2005

36%

18%

Jew s have too much


pow er in the business
w orld

18%

19%

Jew s have too much


pow er in international
financial markets

19%

39%

Jew s still talk too much


about w hat happened to
them in the Holocaust

0%

34%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

20

ITALY
Percent responding probably true to
each statement

57%

Jew s are more loyal to


Israel than to this country
55%

2004
2005

29%

Jew s have too much


pow er in the business
w orld

33%

31%

Jew s have too much


pow er in international
financial markets

32%

44%

Jew s still talk too much


about w hat happened to
them in the Holocaust

0%

49%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

21

SPAIN
Percent responding probably true to
each statement

48%

Jew s are more loyal to


Israel than to this country
51%

2004

45%

53%

Jew s have too much


pow er in international
financial markets

54%

41%

Jew s still talk too much


about w hat happened to
them in the Holocaust

0%

2005

47%

Jew s have too much


pow er in the business
w orld

46%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

22

SWITZERLAND
Percent responding probably true to
each statement

46%

Jew s are more loyal to


Israel than to this country

2005

38%

35%

Jew s have too much


pow er in the business
w orld

26%

38%

Jew s have too much


pow er in international
financial markets

30%

49%

Jew s still talk too much


about w hat happened to
them in the Holocaust

0%

2004

48%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

23

UNITED KINGDOM
Percent responding probably true to
each statement

2004

40%

Jew s are more loyal to


Israel than to this country

2005

38%

20%

Jew s have too much


pow er in the business
w orld

14%

18%

Jew s have too much


pow er in international
financial markets

16%

31%

Jew s still talk too much


about w hat happened to
them in the Holocaust

0%

28%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

24

Do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree


or strongly disagree with the following statement: The Jews
are responsible for the death of Christ.
Percent responding strongly agree + somewhat agree
30%

23%
22%
20%

20%

20%

19%

19%

18%

18%
16% 16%

19%

18%
17%

15%

15%
14%

14%
13%

10%

0%

A ustria

Belgium D enm ark

France

Germ any Holland

2004

Italy

2005

Spain Switzerland

UK

25

In your opinion, is the violence directed against European


Jews a result of anti-Jewish feelings or a result of anti-Israel
sentiment?
40%

Percent responding anti-Jewish feelings


32%

30%
27%

27%

27%
24%

23%

22%
20%

20% 18%

17%18%

17%

15%

14%

20%

13%

12%

14%

10%

10%
6%

0%
Austria

Belgium Denmark

France

Germany Ho lland

2004

Italy

Spain Switzerland

UK

2005

80%

Percent responding anti-Israel sentiment

70%

70%

65%

60%

56%

59%

60%

55%
50%

50%
39%

51%

50%
43%

40%

60%

46%

44%

41%

41%

39%

36%
33%

31%

30%
20%
10%
0%
Austria

Belgium D enmark

France

Germany Ho lland

2004

Italy

Spain Switzerland

2005

UK

26

Age and Education


The data indicates that age and education are key factors in
determining the likelihood of a respondent believing in
traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes.
Those over the age of 65 and those who completed their
education by age 17 or before, are more likely than the rest of
the population to agree with the anti-Semitic characterizations
presented in the survey.
The following table illustrates this trend in the twelve countries
surveyed.
Percent responding probably true to
each statement

43%
Je w s are m ore loyal to
Is rae l than to this country

50%
48%

Overall

29%
Je w s have too m uch pow e r
in the bus ine s s w orld

40%

Age 65+
33%

Completed
education by
age 17 or before

32%
Je w s have too m uch pow e r
in inte rnational financial
m ark e ts

43%
33%

43%
Je w s s till talk too m uch
about w hat happe ne d to
the m in the Holocaus t

0%

51%
49%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%