ADL: Large portion of Europeans feel Jews too powerful in business
ADL study conducted in 5 EU countries finds rising anti-Semitism; 20% still blame Jews for Jesus' death.
A study conducted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) among five European countries found rising anti-Semitism, including beliefs that Jews possess too much power in business and finance, the ADL announced Monday.
"A large number of Europeans continue to be infected with anti-Jewish attitudes, holding on to the classical anti-Semitic canards and conspiracy theories that have dogged Jews through the centuries," said the organization in a press release.
The study, which was distributed among 2,714 adults in France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Poland, found that negative attitudes toward Jews increased, or in some instances did not change, when compared to a similar study conducted in 2005.
The ADL study found that 39 percent of respondents believe that "Jews have too much power in the business world," while 44 percent said they agreed with the statement that "Jews have too much power in international financial markets."
Overall, 20 percent of respondents said they blame Jews for the death of Jesus.
ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said the study marked the first time that the organization decided to examine the connection between criticism of Israeli government policy and increased anti-Semitic sentiment.
In a Jerusalem press conference, Foxman said the results prove there is indeed a linkage between the two. "We still can't say how reservations about Israeli policy affects the anti-Jewish sentiment and to what extend, but the fact that there is a relationship between the two phenomena is significant," he said.
51 percent of respondents said they feel Jews are more loyal to Israel than to their home country. 25 percent said their opinion of Jews is influenced by Israel's actions, and 52 percent of those said Israel's actions has worsened their views on Jews.
Responding to a reporter's question, Foxman said "biased media coverage" of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a contributing factor to anti-Semitic beliefs among the public.
In addition, nearly half of all respondents, including a majority of respondents from Spain and Poland, said they believe American Jews control the United States' foreign policy in the Middle East.
"The findings of this survey demonstrate that individual governments and the EU, who have condemned anti-Semitism and sought ways to counteract it, need to find methods and implement programs that will break down the old stereotypes that die hard, and take leadership to make anti-Semitism unacceptable in their societies," said Foxman.
The survey also examined the respondents' attitudes toward the Palestinian unity government and the Iranian nuclear issue.
"A majority identified Hamas as a terrorist organization and supports the European decision not to provide foreign aid to the Palestinian government until Hamas renounces terrorism, and agrees to recognize Israel and agreements signed by Israel and the Palestinian Authority," said the ADL.
However, a majority also said they do not believe Israel had the right to respond militarily to the abduction of its soldiers last summer.
Regarding Iran, 67 percent of respondents said they believe Iran's nuclear program is at least partially military in nature, and only 14 percent said the program is intended solely for civilian energy purposes.