Over Two Hundred years ago Ben Franklin said “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” I would suggest that if Ben Franklin was alive today that he would add European anti-semitism to his list of certainties.

In what best can be described as a frightening new poll released by the ADL today, Europeans still believe those century old anti-Jewish stereotypes including:

Jews are more loyal to Israel than their country of residence. More than half of Spanish, German and Poles believe this to be true, almost half of Italians and 40% of the French agree also.

Shylock Lives: 25%+ of French and Germans, 42% of Italians, 54% of Poles and almost 70% of Spanish citizens believe that Jews control the financial markets. Don’t they realize that if this was true we would have messed with their cash cards years ago? The numbers are about the same when the category is expanded from controlling the financial markets to controlling the business world.

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Score one for Norman Finkelstein. Well over 40% of the five European countries polled, feel that Jews talk about the holocaust too much. (I wonder if the other 60% responded, “What Holocaust ?”)

In 2005, the Anti-Defamation League conducted similar surveys of attitudes toward Jews. The following section compares results from the 2005 survey with results from the recently completed 2007 tracking survey.

  • A comparison with the 2005 survey indicates that over the past two years there has been an increase in the acceptance of certain traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes in the 5 countries tested.
  • French and Polish respondents are more likely to believe each of the four anti-Semitic stereotypes tested than they were two years ago.
  • Respondents in France, Spain and Poland are more likely to question the loyalty of their Jewish citizens today than they were in 2005.
  • Since 2005, there has been a 9 point increase in the percentage of Italian respondents who believe that Jews have too much power in the business world.
  • The 2007 survey showed an increase in the belief that Jews have too much power in international financial markets. In fact, more than two-thirds of Spanish respondents now believe this stereotype to be “probably true.”
  • The data indicate that those surveyed in Poland and France are now more likely to think that Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust than they did in 2005.
  • Of the five countries tested, only Germany did not exhibit an increased acceptance of the anti-Semitic stereotypes tested. The results in Germany remain virtually unchanged from 2005.

There has been a significant shift in the opinions of respondents regarding the cause of violence directed against European Jews. In all previous surveys, respondents were more likely to say that the violence directed against Jews was a result of anti-Israel sentiment. Today, in four of the five countries surveyed, a plurality of respondents believe that the violence directed against Jews in Europe stems from anti-Jewish feelings instead. See the entire survey by clicking here.

Although the survey says that a plurality of those interviewed make a distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, I would suggest that particular part of the survey is “clouded” by political correctness. It is more socially acceptable to be anti-Zionist, especially in liberal circles, but do not be fooled—hating Israel is just a way to hate Jews “out in the open”

Without a Jewish state, the iron truth of history is that the Jewish people sooner or later become even more vulnerable to the next wave of anti-Semitism.
Jack Schwartz

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