Greece and the countries of the former Eastern bloc (notably Poland, Hungary, Romania) are the European countries where anti-Semitic prejudices are most expressed, according to a survey in 16 states published Tuesday for the annual conference of the Association European Jew (EJA). According to this survey commissioned by the Action and Protection League (APL), a partner organization of the EJA, more than a third of Greeks and Poles (36%) and 30% of Hungarians questioned believe that “Jews will never be capable of integrating fully into society ”.
The belief in a “secret Jewish network which influences political and economic affairs in the world” is shared by 58% of Greeks, 39% of Hungarians and 34% of Slovaks questioned, but also 28% of French, according to this poll of 16,000 people, whose first results were published in 2020. Some 39% of Greeks and 30% of Romanians surveyed agree that “the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is an unforgivable sin of the Jews”.
8% of “rather negative feelings” against the Jews in France
Some 36% of Greeks, 27% of Hungarians and 23% of Poles surveyed harbor “rather negative feelings” towards Jews, a proportion rising to 11% in Germany, 8% in France and falling to 3 % in Sweden and the United Kingdom, and 2% in the Netherlands. These three countries in northern Europe are also those where the tendency to relativize the Holocaust is the weakest, according to the survey. Overall, a quarter of those polled agree that “Israel’s policies allow them to understand why some hate Jews.”
“We see in this survey that in the countries of Western Europe there is more an anti-Israel feeling and in the countries of Eastern Europe there is a more traditional anti-Semitism, an anti-Judaism” , commented Rabbi Slomo Koves, founder of the PLA, noting however that both trends were strong in Austria. He stressed that this survey only focused on anti-Semitic prejudices, and that it was also necessary to take into account the number of anti-Semitic incidents and attacks as well as the perception of the Jewish population living in each country, in order not to have a ” totally wrong picture ”of the situation.
Prevention efforts still to be made
“For example, Greece stands out as the country where prejudices are the most present and I do not believe that Greece is the least safe country for Jews,” he said at a press conference. “The disturbing results of the investigation show that anti-Semitism is deeply rooted in Europe,” said Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the president of the EJA, whose leaders are meeting until Wednesday parliamentarians, diplomats and heads of European institutions. .
Officials welcomed the EU’s presentation on October 5 of its first anti-Semitism strategy, but felt it did not go far enough. The president of the Central Consistory of France and of the European Center of Judaism, Joël Mergui, called on the EU to guarantee the freedom of Jewish worship: “If we can no longer eat kosher, if we can no longer circumcise our children, if we We can no longer respect our traditions, we no longer have a future in the countries that prevent us from doing so, ”he warned.
The survey was carried out by the Ipsos institute in December 2019 and January 2020 in Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.