Europe saw a similar spread, with one in four persons identified as holding anti-Semitic beliefs. Such attitudes were most prevalent in Poland, where sentiment rose to 48 percent of the population from 37 percent in 2015. In Ukraine, the rise was even greater— to 46 percent from 32 percent in 2016.
In early 2018, Poland saw an explosion of anti-Semitic language in public life — expressed on public television and even by public officials — after the conservative, nationalist ruling party passed legislation banning certain kinds of Holocaust speech, which was seen in Israel as an attempt to whitewash the participation of some Poles in the Holocaust.
The survey, conducted between April 15 and June 3 with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent, comes at a time of growing concern over anti-Semitic attacks in Europe. Just days ago, moreover, The New York Times published data from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation indicating hate crime violence in the US reached a 16-year high in 2018.
The findings on attitudes don’t necessarily correlate with violence, with attacks rare in Hungary and Poland, for example, but up 10 percent last year in Germany and also 10 percent in Britain in the first six months of 2019 according to studies.
The ADL scores focused on whether respondents thought certain negative stereotypes were “probably true” or “probably false.” Those who said six out of 11 were “probably true” were considered to harbour anti-Semitic attitudes.
They focused primarily on long-held anti-Semitic tropes such as the Jews’ influence global finance and the media — prejudices that have been instrumentalised by the Nazis and others to incite hatred.
Jewish influence in the business world was a widely accepted view in eastern Europe, with 72 percent of Ukrainians, 71 percent of Hungarians, 56 percent of Poles and 50 percent of Russians agreeing that Jews have too much power. Likewise, 50 percent of all Argentine respondents echoed this stance.
In Western Europe, the belief that Jews are more loyal to Israel than their home country was the most common anti-Semitic view, ranging from 32 percent of respondents in France to 62 percent in Spain. The figure reached a whopping 57 percent in Argentina.
Nearly half of Germans and Austrians — 42 percent and 44 percent, respectively — said Jews talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust, compared to 15 percent in Sweden and 18 percent in Britain with that view.
In high contrast to the global response, 60 percent of Argentine respondents agreed with this sentiment, which presents a sobering reality, given the country served as a hiding place after the war for Nazis hoping to avoid being prosecuted for war-crimes.
Despite the aforementioned attitudes, 73 percent of respondents from Argentina agreed to “have seldom interacted with Jews” and one in four to “have never even met a Jewish person,” the ADL reports.
Amid concerns that some of the more than one million migrants who have flooded into Europe since 2015, primarily from the Mideast, might import anti-Semitic attitudes with them, the study also looked specifically at Muslim attitudes toward Jews in six Western European countries.
The survey found that the attitudes of Muslims in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain tended to be more anti-Semitic than those countries overall. At the same time, they were much more likely to have interacted with Jews, and to have higher opinions of Israel, than Muslims in the Mideast and North Africa.