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26% of the World Is Anti-Semitic and 46% Unaware of Holocaust, Survey Finds

Only 54 percent of adults around the world have heard of the Holocaust, according to “The ADL Global 100: An Index of Anti-Semitism”, a far-reaching survey released this week by the Anti-Defamation League.

The survey of 53,100 adults attempted to measure anti-semitic attitudes in 102 countries around the world by asking respondents their impressions of a series of 11 stereotypes about Jewish people. 26 percent of those who responded hold strongly anti-Semitic views, they found.

“For the first time we have a real sense of how pervasive and persistent anti-Semitism is today around the world,” Abraham H. Foxman, the ADL’s National Director said in a statement. “The data from the Global 100 Index enables us to look beyond anti-Semitic incidents and rhetoric and quantify the prevalence of anti-Semitic attitudes across the globe. We can now identify hotspots, as well as countries and regions of the world where hatred of Jews is essentially non-existent.”

The results have been compiled into an interactive website, which can be viewed here.

Among the findings were that the most anti-semitic countries were in – you’ll never guess! – the Middle East and Northern Africa. 74 percent of people polled in those regions agreed with 6 or more of the 11 negative stereotypes. Greece was the most anti-semitic country outside of that area, with 69 percent. Only 13 percent of people in English-speaking countries exhibited the bias, including 8 percent in the United Kingdom, 9 percent in the United States, and 2 percent in Laos, the least anti-semitic country in the world — which probably won’t be going on any travel brochures, but it’s nice to know anyway.

The index was created by asking people to answer whether or not the following statements were “probably true” or “probably false.”

  • Jews are more loyal to Israel than to [this country/the countries they live in].
  • Jews have too much power in the business world.
  • Jews have too much power in international finance markets.
  • Jews don’t care about what happens to anyone but their own kind.
  • Jews have too much control over global affairs.
  • People hate Jews because of the ways Jews behave.
  • Jews think they are better than other people.
  • Jews have too much control over the United States government.
  • Jews have too much control over the global media.
  • Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust.
  • Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars.
  • On the whole, the survey found, 24 percent of Christians are in the Jews=bad club, while 49 percent of Muslims agree.

    Other interesting findings include that no one seems to know just how many Jewish people there are in the world. 18 percent of respondents believed the total Jewish population is over 700 million. It’s actually 13.7 million. 2 out of every 3 people surveyed had either not heard of, or do not believe the historical accuracy of the Holocaust.

    74 percent of respondents had never met a Jewish person.

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    >> Luke O’Neil is a journalist and blogger in Boston. Follow him on Twitter (@lukeoneil47).

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