The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released today an amazing global survey measuring anti-Semitism. Researchers interviewed 53,100 people in over 100 countries using an index that the ADL has been using for 50 years to track hatred of Jews. A person is considered anti-Semitic if they said that at least 6 of the following 11 statements is “probably true”:
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.
You really should read the Executive Summary to learn about what they found, but here are some of the highlights (or should I say lowlights):
- 26% of respondents globally thought that at least 6 of these 11 anti-Semitic statements is probably true.
- In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) 74% met this threshold of anti-Semitism.
- Muslims reported the highest levels of anti-Semitism (49%), followed by Christians in Eastern Orthodox countries (36%), Catholics in majority Christian countries (25%), people with no religion (21%), Hindus (19%), Budhists (17%), and Protestants in majority Christian countries (15%).
- Region seemed to trump religion. Christians in MENA had rates of anti-Semitism (64%) that were closer to the average in their region and very different from Christians elsewhere. Conversely, Muslims in W. Europe and the Americas had lower rates of anti-Semitism (29%) than Muslims in MENA (75%).
- Only 54% globally were aware of the Holocaust. Of those who were aware, 32% believed that the Holocaust was a “myth” or “exaggerated.” These answers on the Holocaust are strongly related to rates of anti-Semitism
There were, however, some positive signs:
- Younger people (under 25) are less anti-Semitic (18%) than older people (34% for those over 65). Perhaps more positive views will gain traction as the older generation of Jew-haters dies out.
- People living in countries with more Jews have lower rates (22%) than those in countries with few or no Jews (28%). Of the 26% reported as anti-Semitic, 70% had never met a Jew. Familiarity reduces hatred.
- In the Americas, W. Europe, and Oceania, higher education levels are associated with lower rates of anti-Semitism. But in MENA the opposite is true. Education can reduce hatred, but it depends on what is taught.
You can see all of this and much more in the Executive Summary and on the cool web site. I was particularly struck by some of the results for individual countries. Residents of the West Bank and Gaza top the list of countries with a 93% anti-Semitism rate. Greece tops the list among countries outside of MENA at 69%. South Korea, which has a grand total of about 100 Jews, has the highest rate in Asia (53%). The US has one of the lowest rates (9%), which is down from 29% in 1964.