One of the activities of the US-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is to conduct global surveys to gauge levels of anti-semitism.
Their 2015 survey was conducted in the US, Argentina, Iran, Turkey and fifteen Western and Eastern European countries, including the UK, and concluded that 220 million people in the 19 countries surveyed held anti-semitic views.
They asked their respondents if the following statements were “probably true”, or “probably false.” Placing the bar high, the ADL concluded that answering six out of eleven questions meant the respondent held anti-semitic attitudes. The questions were:
1. Jews are more loyal to Israel than to [this country/the countries they live in].
2. Jews have too much power in the business world.
3. Jews have too much power in international financial markets.
4. Jews don’t care about what happens to anyone but their own kind.
5. Jews have too much control over global affairs.
6. People hate Jews because of the way Jews behave.
7. Jews think they are better than other people.
8. Jews have too much control over the United States government.
9. Jews have too much control over the global media.
10. Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust.
11. Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars.
Bottom of the list are Denmark (8% with anti-semitic attitudes), Netherlands (11), US (10) and the UK (12). Top of the list are Iran (60%), Greece (67) and Turkey (71).
The ADL states, “The most commonly held stereotype about Jews is that they are more loyal to Israel than to the countries they live in. The next... are that Jews have too much power in business and still talk too much about the Holocaust.
“In the wake of anti-semitic violence in Europe, there has been a significant drop in Index Scores in France, Germany, and Belgium. People in those countries are more concerned about violence against Jews than they were in 2014.”
The score for British Muslims is significantly higher than the general population, at 54%. But as an interesting letter in a recent Economist magazine points out, views can change rapidly and dramatically.
For example in 1983 68% of British Catholics said homosexuality was wrong; by 2013 that figure had dropped to 2%.