THE first-ever global study of anti-Semitic attitudes shows that more than a quarter of the world’s population harbors intense anti-Jewish sentiment, with region, more than religion, shaping people’s view of Jews and Judaism.
The poll by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League, also finds that a large proportion of the world has never heard of the Holocaust or denies historical accounts of it.
Of those polled, 46 percent have either not heard of the Holocaust that killed 6 million Jews or think it is a myth or exaggerated.
“For the first time we have a real sense of how pervasive and persistent anti-Semitism is today around the world,” said Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.
He called the results of the Global 100 Index “sobering but not surprising”. The results of the survey of 102 nations and territories revealed stark regional differences, and hotspots of anti-Semitism around the globe.
The survey found that the least anti-Semitic place in the world is Laos, where anti-Semitic beliefs are held by just 0.2 percent of the population. The most anti-Semitic place is in Israel’s backyard, the West Bank and Gaza, where 93 percent of people held anti-Semitic beliefs.
The 10 most anti-Semitic countries and territories, according to the survey, are the West Bank and Gaza, Iraq, Yemen, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan and Morocco.
The 10 least anti-Semitic countries, surveyors found, are Laos, the Philippines, Sweden, the Netherlands, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, the United States, Denmark, Tanzania and Thailand.
In the U.S., 9 percent of those surveyed revealed anti-Semitic views. And 14 per cent of Australians and 48 per cent of Indonesians.
The survey shows that Greece, at 69 percent, has the highest levels of anti-Semitic attitudes of any country outside the Middle East, a proportion far higher than the Western European average of 24 percent.
Of the 26 percent of people worldwide who harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, 70 percent said they had never met a Jewish person, the survey showed.