The Rise and Rise of Anti-semitism*

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Posted By Paula Nourse

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has issued an important update to its annual global studies on anti-semitism. The 2019 study reveals concerning trends. Anti-semitic attitudes in Eastern Europe, South Africa, and South America have increased in the last four years.

An earlier study, based on interviews conducted between July 2013 and February 2014, featured surveys from 53,100 adults in 102 countries and territories. It indicated that anti-semitic attitudes were persistent and pervasive around the world.

Polls are conducted annually so that results can be contrasted and compared. An ADL press release in May of 2017 announced a drop in anti-semitic attitudes in France, Germany, and Belgium and a rise in anti-semitic attitudes in Mexico.

Here are some of the dismal 2019 survey results.

People living in countries with larger Jewish populations (22% Index Score) are less likely to hold anti-semitic views than people living in countries with smaller Jewish populations (28% Index Score).
While Muslims are more likely to hold anti-semitic views than members of any other religion (49% Index Score), geography makes a big difference in their opinions. Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa (75% Index Score) are much more likely to harbor anti-semitic attitudes than Muslims in Asia (37% Index Score), Western Europe (29% Index Score), Eastern Europe (20% Index Score), and Sub-Saharan Africa (18% Index Score).
74% of respondents have never met a Jewish person.
A majority of people in 48 of 102 countries and territories surveyed say it is probably true that Jews have too much power in the business world.
18% of respondents believe that the total worldwide Jewish population exceeds 700 million people. The actual number of Jewish people in the world is around 13,700,000. People who overestimate the world’s Jewish community by this amount are more likely to harbor anti-semitic attitudes — with an Index Score of 38%.
Among people familiar with all the religions tested in the survey, more are unfavorable toward Jews (35%) than toward people of any other religion.
More than a quarter of the people surveyed, 26%, harbor anti-semitic attitudes – that represents an estimated 1,090,000,000 adults around the world.
Less than half of those surveyed under the age of 35 have ever heard of the Holocaust.

The 2019 study also revealed that:
⦁ One in four Europeans polled subscribes to most of the anti-semitic stereotypes tested.

⦁ The falsehood of Jewish disloyalty or dual loyalty is widespread across Europe.
⦁ 40% or more of respondents in 10 of the 18 countries polled, thought “Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust.”

In 2018 the world saw 1,879 incidents of anti-semitism in the U.S. alone. It is not suprising that the 2019 study indicates a growing trend that is deeply concerning. Most disturbing of all is the reveal that 50% of people surveyed under the age of 35 had never heard of the Holocaust.

In a letter emailed to supporters last week, Sharon Nazarian, Senior Vice President of International Affairs for the data collected by the ADL Global 100 Index, hopes to enable governments, Jewish communities and others to assess the attitudes of national populations, allowing policymakers and other stakeholders, like the ADL, to target educational practices and other means to address intolerance.

What can we do? We can use the ADL survey data to check our own beliefs about Jews and ask ourselves how we can see others without bias? Visit this link to learn more about bias and controlling it.

If we are not able to recite at least seven key facts about the Holocaust we must acquire a fact-based understanding of what occurred.

We have homework to do. Read. There are numerous historical books about the Holocaust, as well as survivor testimonies. Not sure where to start? Read one or all of Holocaust survivor and author, Eli Weisel’s books; Night, Dawn, Day, The Trial of God, or Twilight.
Visit a Holocaust museum. There are at least 20 museums around the world that offer fact-based learning tools, exhibits, and speakers that teach the history and plight of the Jews, and the Holocaust. Click for a list of museums. Visit their websites.

Racist and anti-semitic hate groups are growing. Do not be lured by hate. Watch Christian Picciolini’s video.
See more from the survey outcomes and details *I have purposefully used a lowercase “s” in anti-semitic and anti-semitism.
Tags: anti-semitism, Jew, Jewish, ADL, Judiasm, Holocaust.

About the ADL: The ADL’s mission is to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Per the association’s website, when Chicago attorney Sigmund Livingston founded the ADL in 1913, he envisioned an America where those who seemed different were not targets of discrimination and threats but were equals, worthy of shared opportunity and a place in the American dream. The ADL works on behalf of all Americans.

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