Anti-Jewish feelings have risen in several major European countries, a worldwide survey has found.
Anti-Muslims attitudes have also risen around the world in the past several years, according to the survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Center.
The spring 2008 global attitude survey, released Wednesday, found some 46 percent of Spaniards, 34 percent of Russians, 36 percent of Poles, 25 percent of Germans and 20 percent of French rated Jews unfavorably. These percentages are all higher than comparable Pew surveys taken in recent years, with more notable increases between 2006 and 2008.
Great Britain is the only European country included in the survey where there has not been a large increase in anti-Semitic attitudes, with 9 percent of Britons rating Jews unfavorably, almost the same as in previous years. Some 11 percent of Australians and 7 percent of Americans also view Jews unfavorably.
Muslims are viewed more negatively than Jews in the same countries, including 52 percent in Spain and 50 percent in Germany and 23 percent both in the United States and Britain, though the same people who view Jews unfavorably tend to view Muslims the same way, the report says.
Older people and those with less education are more anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim than are younger people or those with more education.
In a conference call with 900 rabbis, Barack Obama said he supports government funding for after-school programs in religious schools.
Speaking to the rabbis on a pre-Rosh Hashanah call Wednesday morning, the Democratic candidate for president said he opposes vouchers for private schools, but would continue to support funding, as is currently provided in the No Child Left Behind law, for after-school, tutoring, mentoring and summer programs at private and religious schools, according to a news release from the Orthodox Union and other rabbis who participated in the call.
Participants said Obama talked about a number of issues and took four questions from leaders of the four major denominations during the more than 40 minutes he spent on the call. The economy, education, energy, Israel and Iran were among the topics he discussed.
With the call coming less than two weeks before Rosh Hashanah, the Democratic nominee wished the group â€œShanah Tovah.â€ He also discussed how the shofar â€œraises people from slumberâ€ and how he hoped this election could do the same, according to rabbis on the call.
Rabbi Sam Gordon, who introduced Obama and serves as co-chair of â€œRabbis for Obama,â€ said he believed that a presidential candidate speaking to hundreds of rabbis was â€œunprecedentedâ€ during a political campaign, and that Obama showed an impressive â€œdepth of knowledgeâ€ — at one point referring to the largest modern Orthodox high school in Chicago by name, the Ida Crown Academy, when discussing faith-based schools.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.