NEW YORK (Apr. 15)
A substantial portion of Slovaks hold negative attitudes toward Jews, with more than a quarter of them maintaining that “many important events take place as a result of the worldwide Jewish conspiracy,” according to a recent survey by the American Jewish Committee.
The study was based on 1,132 face-to-face interviews in which respondents were asked to answer 266 separate questionnaire items, including 22 dealing with Jews.
The survey, which dealt primarily with political change, economic development and anti-Semitism in the newly independent Slovakia, was conducted on behalf of the AJCommittee by the Center for Social Analysis, an independent research organization in Bratislava.
David Singer, AJCommittee director of research and publications, released the findings of the survey Thursday at a news conference in Bratislava, the Slovak capital.
“These findings are disturbing in the level of anti-Semitism that they reveal,” said Singer.
“Adding to this sense of concern is the fact, as documented in the survey, that Slovakia is experiencing sharp economic and political difficulties at present. In such a situation, Jews are especially vulnerable,” he said.
Among the questions dealing with Jews, the survey found that 63 percent of Slovaks believe that “Jews are mainly concerned about themselves — their money and their profit.”
In addition, 29 percent of Slovaks see “excessive influence of Jews in economic and political life” as one of the “dangers that lie ahead for Slovakia.”
Finally, when asked whether they would like to have members of various groups as neighbors, 27 percent of Slovaks questioned said either “I definitely wouldn’t like” to have Jewish neighbors (11 percent) or “I’d rather not” have them (16 percent).
Still, in response to a few of the questions, significant portions of the population gave answers that could be considered neutral or favorable to Jews.
Eighty-three percent of the Slovaks questioned maintain that “Jews are no better and no worse than other people.”
In addition, 66 percent of Slovaks acknowledge that “Jews have made remarkable contribution to world culture and science.”