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One in four Germans deemed anti-Semitic

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Photo: DPA
15:50 CEST+02:00
More than one in four Germans hold anti-Semitic views, according to a report released on Tuesday by the non-profit Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The figure is far higher than most other northern European countries.

Based on a worldwide survey of 53,100 adults across 101 countries, a global average of 26 percent of people can be classed as anti-Semitic, the Anti-Defamation League said.

ADL researchers classed respondents as anti-Semitic if they answered 'probably true' to six out of 11 statements classed as "anti-Semitic stereotypes" in their questionnaire.

The most common anti-Semitic belief was "Jews are more loyal to Israel than to [this country/the countries they live in]", which was seen as 'probably true' by 41 percent of respondents worldwide and 45 percent in western Europe.

"For the first time we have a real sense of how pervasive and persistent anti-Semitism is today around the world,” said Abraham Foxman, the national director of the US-based non-profit ADL.

In the Middle East and North Africa, the proportion of those deemed anti-Semitic was 74 percent, whereas the Europe-wide average dropped to 24 percent.

Within Europe, the highest number of anti-Semites were recorded in Greece, with 69 percent of adults agreeing with six or more of 11 sentiments in the survey. France received western Europe's worst result, with 37 percent of surveyed adults agreeing. 

Germany, where one percent of the population is Jewish, came in the middle of European countries, with 27 percent of those surveyed deemed anti-Semitic.

The German result was high when compared with other northern Europeans such as Netherlands (five percent), Denmark (nine percent), Sweden (four percent), the United Kingdom (eight percent) and Norway (15 percent).

Australia and Canada fared better, with 14 percent of adults classed as anti-Semitic, whereas in the USA just nine percent agreed with six or more of the statements.

The highest concentration of anti-Semitic views was found in the West Bank and Gaza, where 93 percent of respondents were classed as anti-Semitic. The next highest concentration was in Iraq, where 92 percent agreed with the statements. 

The ADL survey also found that just 54 percent of respondents worldwide had heard of the Holocaust, which Foxman described as “a disturbingly low number.”

The survey, conducted between July 2013 and February this year, was based on questionnaires filled in by adults in 102 countries, accounting for 88 percent of the world’s adult population.

Germany's relatively high ranking in the index came as police in Berlin said on Wednesday they had arrested three young men for attacking a 31-year-old Jewish man in the Kreuzberg area of the city.

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They shouted anti-Semitic slogans at the Israeli man before punching him several times in the face on April 25th. He suffered facial fractures and was operated on in hospital. The three men arrested were aged from 17 to 22 years old.

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