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47 Percent Would Be Offended if Called a Jew, Says Italian Poll

Nearly half of those questioned here in a public opinion poll said they would consider it an insult to be called a Jew, and nearly 12 percent said they thought of Jews as “unpleasant.”

The survey, whose results were reported in the media Saturday, was commissioned by the Italian Federation of Psychologists on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the synagogue in the northern Italian town of Casale.

Titled “Those who are Different,” the survey was carried out during the past six months. Some 1,050 Italians between the ages of 14 and 60 were questioned.

The survey showed that 53 percent of the respondents said they would be offended if called a Negro, 47 percent said they would be offended if called a Jew; and 44 percent would be offended if called gay.

Fully 39 percent regarded the label “handicapped” an insult, the poll found.

According to survey results, some 11.7 percent of respondements considered Jews to be “unpleasant.”

Respondents found dark-skinned immigrants (24.5 percent), Gypsies (18.2 percent) and homosexuals (13.3 percent) to be more unpleasant than Jews.

In the same survey, more than 75 percent of the respondents said they did not consider themselves racist.