More Than One-quarter of World's Population Harboring anti-Semitic Views, Survey Finds

ADL survey ranks countries and territories from the least anti-Semitic (Laos) to the most (the West Bank and Gaza).

AP

Anti-Semitic attitudes are persistent and pervasive around the world, with more than one-in-four adults "deeply infected with anti-Semitic attitudes," the Anti-Defamation League said Tuesday, as it released the results of a global anti-Semitism survey.

The ADL Global 100: An Index of Anti-Semitism survey, which polled 53,100 adults in 102 countries and territories, was described by the group as "a comprehensive data-based research survey of the level and intensity of anti-Jewish sentiment across the world."

The 26 percent of those surveyed who met the ADL's criteria of anti-Semitism represents an estimated 1.09 billion people around the world.

“For the first time we have a real sense of how pervasive and persistent anti-Semitism is today around the world,” said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman. “The data from the Global 100 Index enables us to look beyond anti-Semitic incidents and rhetoric and quantify the prevalence of anti-Semitic attitudes across the globe. We can now identify hotspots, as well as countries and regions of the world where hatred of Jews is essentially non-existent.”

The survey's score represents the percentage of respondents who answered “probably true” to six or more of 11 negative stereotypes about Jews. An 11-question index has been used by ADL as a key metric in measuring anti-Semitic attitudes in the United States for the last 50 years.

The survey ranked countries and territories in numerical order, from the least anti-Semitic - Laos, at 0.2 percent of the adult population - to the most – the West Bank and Gaza, where anti-Semitic attitudes, at 93 percent, are pervasive throughout society.

Despite the findings, the ADL reported that there were also "highly encouraging notes" in the survey.

In countries where the majority of the population speak English, the percentage of those with anti-Semitic attitudes was 13 percent, far lower than the overall average. Countries with Protestant majorities have the lowest ratings of anti-Semitic attitudes, as compared to any other majority religious country.

Another encouraging note was that 28 percent of respondents around the world do not believe that any of the 11 anti-Semitic stereotypes tested are “probably true.”

The data on which the survey's conclusions are based was culled from interviews conducted between July 2013 and February 2014 in 96 languages and dialects via landline telephones, mobile phones and face-to-face discussions. Respondents were selected at random and constituted a demographically representative sample of the adult populations.

Other findings of the survey included:

Only 54 percent of those polled globally have ever heard of the Holocaust. Two out of three people surveyed have either never heard of the Holocaust, or do not believe historical accounts to be accurate.

The most widely accepted anti-Semitic stereotype worldwide is: “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country/the countries they live in.” Overall, 41 percent of those surveyed believe this statement to be “probably true.” This is the most widely accepted stereotype in five out of the seven regions surveyed.

The second most widely accepted stereotype worldwide is “Jews have too much power in the business world.” Overall, 35 percent of those surveyed believe this statement to be “probably true.” This is also the most widely held stereotype in Eastern Europe.

Among the 74 percent of those surveyed who indicated they had never met a Jewish person, 25 percent harbor anti-Semitic attitudes. Of the 26 percent overall who harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, 70 percent have never met a Jewish person.

Three out of 10 respondents, 30 percent, believe Jews make up between 1 to 10 percent of the world’s population. Another 18 percent believe Jews make up more than 10 percent of the world’s population. Sixteen percent (16%) responded less than 1 percent. (The actual number of Jewish people as a percentage of the world’s population is 0.19 percent).

“When it comes to Holocaust awareness, while only 54 percent of those polled had heard of the Holocaust -- a disturbingly low number -- the numbers were far better in Western Europe, where 94 percent of those polled were aware of the history,” Foxman said.

“At the same time, the results confirm a troubling gap between older adults who know their history and younger men and women who, more than 70 years after the events of World War II, are more likely to have never heard of or learned about what happened to the six million Jews who perished.”

The survey is available on an interactive web site, The ADL expects it to "give researchers, students, governments and members of the public direct access to a treasure trove of current data about anti-Semitic attitudes globally and how they vary widely along religious, ethnic, national and regional lines."