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ADL poll: Anti-Semitic attitudes up slightly in Europe

NEW YORK (JTA) — A new Anti-Defamation League poll found that anti-Semitic attitudes in several European countries have increased marginally since 2009.

The poll, which was released Tuesday, reported slight increases in overall anti-Semitic attitudes in a handful of European countries, including France, Germany and Hungary and the United Kingdom. In Austria the rate was slightly lower. Poland’s level remained unchanged.

In almost all cases, the changes were minor and well within the roughly 4.5 percent margin of error. One notable exception was Hungary, where the rate of anti-Semitic attitudes rose to 63 percent from 47 percent in 2009. In the United Kingdom, the rate increased to 17 percent  from 10 percent.

“The survey is disturbing by the fact that anti-Semitism remains at high levels across the continent and infects many Europeans at a much higher level than we see here in the United States,” said Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s national director. “In Hungary, Spain and Poland the numbers for anti-Semitic attitudes are literally off the charts and demand a serious response from political, civic and religious leaders.”

The telephone survey of 500 adults commissioned by the ADL gauged the anti-Semitic attitudes in 10 European countries. The results were compared to a similar poll conducted in 2009.

Respondents were asked four questions meant to assess their level of anti-Semitic sentiment, such as whether Jews have too much power or are more loyal to Israel. Respondents who said three of the four are “probably true” were deemed anti-Semitic.

The countries with the lowest rates of anti-Semitic attitudes were the Netherlands, at 10 percent; Norway, at 16 percent; and the United Kingdom, at 17 percent. The highest rates were in Hungary (63 percent), Spain (53 percent) and Poland (48 percent).

The likelihood of anti-Semitic attitudes was higher among older people, those without post-secondary education and those with lower incomes. The survey also found that anti-Semitic attitudes were generally higher in the only two former Soviet bloc countries included, Poland and Hungary.

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