Budapest, November 28th, 2018 – A new CNN poll, released on Monday, has revealed that anti-Semitism still poses a serious threat to Jewish communities across Europe. The findings reflect earlier polls by the European Union and Jewish organizations which have for years warned about rising anti-Semitism in Europe.
Some key findings:
– More than 1 in 3 of those polled thought that Jews have too much influence.
– 1 in 3 knew little or nothing at all about the Holocaust.
– 1 in 5 believed that anti-Semitism is a response to everyday actions of Jews.
– 40% said that Jews were at risk of racist violence in their countries.
In a statement in Budapest, the home of the third largest Jewish community in Europe, ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell expressed his deep concern arising from the results of the poll.
“These findings confirm the alarming trend of rising anti-Semitism in Europe which we have witnessed for the last 15 years and reminds us of the need to combat Jew hatred on a broad front. We have to make sure that anti-Semitism becomes an issue which concerns the whole of society and not only those who are immediately affected by it”, he said.
During a working visit to Budapest on Tuesday Sandell met with Jewish community leaders to learn about their own experiences of anti-Semitism. He was told that Jews today feel safer in Budapest and Bucharest than in Paris and Berlin. This observation was also backed up by the findings of the CNN-poll which revealed a high percentage of anti-Semitic feelings in Central and Eastern Europe, whereas anti-Semitic violence is almost non-existent in these countries. At the same time many Jewish community leaders in Central and Eastern Europe disagree with their governments about the role of the local population in the round-up of Jews seventy-five years ago.
“But while we may differ on how we view the past, the fact of the matter is that Jewish life in Budapest today is very good compared to many other parts of Europe”, said the Head of the Hungarian Jewish Community András Heisler. The CNN poll confirms his observation as many Jews in Western Europe avoid wearing religious symbols, such as the Jewish kippa, in fear of being attacked.
The 15th anniversary symposium of the European Coalition for Israel will take place in Brussels on Thursday December 6th. The following week, on Monday December 10th, the European Commission will present the largest survey ever done in Europe on the perceptions and experiences of Jewish communities with anti-Semitism. The survey is a compilation of the actual levels of anti-Semitism in 13 EU countries and underscores the point of view of the thousands of people who are affected.