New poll finds pro-Jewish attitudes up in Europe
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New poll finds pro-Jewish attitudes up in Europe

Amid rise in anti-Semitic crimes, marked increase in pro-Jewish sentiment in six surveyed countries

Members of the Union of French Jewish Students demonstrate in Paris with a sign that reads, 'Jews murdered, republic endangered.' (Courtesy of UEJF via JTA)
Members of the Union of French Jewish Students demonstrate in Paris with a sign that reads, 'Jews murdered, republic endangered.' (Courtesy of UEJF via JTA)

A new study by the Pew Research Group found a rise in positive attitudes to Jews in Europe, amid an increase in reported anti-Semitic attacks.

The report surveyed over 6,000 people in April and May from six European countries: France, Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy and Poland. The results not only demonstrate majority favorable views of Jews, but also a marked increase in those views over the last 25 years.

Fully 92% of French respondents maintained a positive perspective of Jewish people, up from 89% last year and significantly higher than just 72% in a 1991 poll. Those who said they had “very favorable” views of Jews increased from 25% in 2014 to 39% in 2015.

A large majority of Britons (86%), Germans (80%) and Spaniards (75%) also responded positively about their attitude toward Jews.

The German numbers were significantly higher than in 1991, when only 53% of Germans held positive views of Jews. And the number of Germans who viewed Jews negatively fell from 24% in 1991 to 9%.

Most Italians (71%) and Poles (59%) responded positively as well, though they also harbored the largest segment of negative views of Jews (21% and 28% respectively). In a 2014 Pew report on the same topic, the majority of anti-Semitic views were found more widely among self-identified right-wing respondents than those on the left.

The new poll also found favorability for Jews was higher than for Muslims and Roma (Gypsies). While a majority of French people, Britons and Germans held positive views of their Muslim minorities, only half of Spaniards did, while a majority of Poles and Italians held negative views.

A note reading 'I am Hypercacher, I am Charlie, I am Policewoman, I am Cop, resist' near the Hypercacher kosher grocery in Paris, January 10, 2015 (AFP/Kenzo Tribouillard)
A note reading ‘I am Hypercacher, I am Charlie, I am Policewoman, I am Cop, resist’ near the Hypercacher kosher grocery in Paris, January 10, 2015 (AFP/Kenzo Tribouillard)

The report comes amid a rise in incidents of anti-Semitism across Europe, including deadly attacks on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and Hypercacher kosher supermarket in Paris in January.

An April report by the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry found a 38% increase in anti-Semitic incidents from 2013 to 2014, including a doubling in the number of armed attacks.

 

 

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