January 26, 2004.
A poll of nine European nations that was released Monday found that 46
percent of respondents said Jews in their nations were “different,” and 35
percent said Jews should stop “playing the victim” for the Holocaust.
Some 9 percent of the respondents said they “don’t like or trust Jews,”
and 15 percent said “it would be better if Israel didn’t exist.”
The poll by the Ipso research institute for Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera
was conducted in Italy, France, Belgium, Austria, Spain, the Netherlands,
Luxembourg, Germany, and Britain.
The poll, released a day before many European countries mark a day of
remembrance for Holocaust victims, was the latest pointing to what Jewish
leaders see as a worrying trend.
“Obviously the virus of anti-Semitism is far more resilient and determined than
we might have thought in the past,” said British-born Rabbi David Rosen,
international director of inter-religious affairs of the American Jewish
Committee, who lives in Israel.
Asked if Jews in their countries had a “mentality and lifestyle” different than
other citizens, 46 percent said yes. About 40.5 percent said Jews in their
country had “a particular relationship with money” and 35.7 percent said Jews
“should stop playing the victim for the Holocaust and the persecutions of 50
The poll also differentiated between the countries surveyed, finding that
German, Austrian, Spanish and Italian hostility toward Jews was higher than
that in the rest of the countries. In all the countries, anti-Semitic sentiment was
positively correlated with anti-Israel sentiment.
More than 71 percent of those polled said Israel should leave the occupied
territories and Palestinians should stop attacking Israeli targets.
More than 68 percent said they believed Israel had a right to exist but
the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was “making the wrong
A poll published Friday in Britain’s Jewish Chronicle newspaper found that
nearly one in five Britons says a Jew would not make an acceptable prime
minister, and almost one in seven believes the scale of the Holocaust is
In November, Correire della Sera published a national poll that found that 51
percent of Italians think the mentality and way of life of Jews differs from those
of other Italians, and 17 percent said it would be better if Israel ceased to exist.