Categorized | International, Middle East, USA

Anti- Semitism up in Mexico, down in Western Europe

NEW YORK (Press Release) — Anti-Semitic attitudes have risen sharply in Mexico in the past three years amid challenges the country is facing with a faltering economy and growing pessimism about the country’s direction and future, according to a new poll commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

ADL’s Global 100 Index Survey in Mexico found anti-Semitic attitudes have increased by 11 points compared to a similar poll three years ago. Today, a total of 35 percent of the adult population in Mexico – or approximately 31 million people — harbors anti-Semitic attitudes, up from 24 percent in a similar poll in 2014.

The most commonly held negative stereotype, that “Jews have too much power in the business world,” is held by 56 percent of the Mexican population, an increase from 40 percent in 2014. Other findings suggest that the economic downturn and political and social instability has people looking for scapegoats, with those who are most negative about the economy tending to be more anti-Semitic.

“While Mexico’s Jewish community is thriving and rarely experiences any anti-Semitism, underlying attitudes remain a concern, particularly related to some of the most classic anti-Jewish stereotypes,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “The good news on this front is that the Mexican government takes this issue very seriously. At the highest levels, they have confirmed their ongoing commitment to combat anti-Semitism and all forms of hate and discrimination. They also continue to collaborate closely with Mexican Jewish leadership on a host of issues.”

Mexico has a significant Jewish community estimated at about 50,000 people, with most living in Mexico City. Earlier this month, a delegation of top ADL leaders led a mission of solidary with the Mexican Jewish community. In a series of meetings with community officials and government leaders, they discussed ongoing efforts in the U.S. and Mexico to address anti-Jewish sentiment and all forms of hate and bigotry and presented the poll findings in advance of their release.

The national telephone poll of 562 non-Jewish adults was conducted between January 16 and February 27, 2017. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent. The findings were released as part of ADL’s ongoing research into anti-Jewish attitudes as part of the ADL Global 100, a project launched in 2014 that established a worldwide index of anti-Semitic attitudes.

Meanwhile, anti-Semitic attitudes continue to decline in three Western European nations with significant Jewish communities, according to a new survey of attitudes commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which also found sharply divided views about immigrants and refugees.

ADL’s Global 100 Survey found improvements in the overall anti-Semitism index scores for France and Germany and continuing good scores for the United Kingdom. In France, the country with the largest Jewish community outside of Israel and the U.S., the number of those harboring anti-Semitic attitudes declined to 14 percent of the adult population in 2017, down from 17 percent two years ago and 37 percent in 2014.

Germany’s numbers also declined – from 16 percent in 2015 to 11 percent today. In the U.K., the index has remained low and relatively constant in recent years, with slight fluctuations from 8 percent of the population in 2014, to 12 percent in 2015 to 10 percent in 2017.  The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

“The good news is that anti-Semitic attitudes are declining in France and Germany, where we have been concerned for some time about the prevalence and endurance of such stereotypes, and remain low in the U.K.,” said ADL CEO Greenblatt. “Yet we are still concerned about anti-Semitism on the political scene, particularly in France’s National Front, in the Alternative for Germany party, and in the U.K. Labour party. Distressingly high levels of anti-Semitic incidents still occur in all three countries, and reported incidents are at an all-time high in the U.K.”

In the survey, respondents who answered “probably true” to six or more of 11 negative stereotypes about Jews were deemed as holding anti-Semitic attitudes. The 11-question index has been used as a benchmark in measuring anti-Semitic attitudes in the U.S. since 1964, and was adapted for use in the ADL Global 100 Index.

Significant numbers of respondents in each of the three countries voiced concern about growing anti-Semitic rhetoric in politics. More than one-quarter of those polled in each country think there is more anti-Jewish rhetoric in politics recently. Three out of four Germans are concerned about anti-Semitism on the right, while one in four are concerned about anti-Semitism on the political left.  In the U.K., 36 percent of respondents believe anti-Semitism is a problem among left-wing parties.

On a positive note, strong majorities believe Jews are treated well in their societies. In all three countries more than three-quarters of those polled believe that the treatment of Jews is “excellent” or “good.” However, in France, 43 percent of those polled say that violence against Jews happens often in their country, significantly higher than the 11 percent in Germany and 6 percent in the U.K.  France has witnessed a series of violent anti-Semitic terror attacks in recent years, including the deadly hostage siege at the Hyper Cacher kosher market in Paris in 2015.

The ADL poll found sharp division as to whether their countries are taking in too many immigrants. In Germany, for example, 43 percent of those polled said the amount of immigration is “about right” while 44 percent said “too many” and 9 percent responded “too few.”

The top concern with admitting Muslim refugees was an increase in terrorism. This was particularly true in Germany, where 38 percent said this was a major concern. But in all three countries, a majority said they would be comfortable living alongside Muslim neighbors.

The most commonly held anti-Semitic stereotype in the three countries is the notion that Jews are “more loyal to Israel” than to their own country. In Germany, 45 percent of the public agreed with this statement; in France 33 percent agreed; and in the U.K., 32 percent agreed. Those numbers are virtually unchanged from past polls.

A smaller percentage of respondents in the three countries agreed with the statement that “Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust.” In Germany, 37 percent agreed with this statement, followed by 29 percent in France, and 20 percent in the U.K.

The national telephone poll of 1,500 non-Jewish adults (500 in each of the three countries) was conducted between January 16 and February 27, 2017.

Preceding provided by the Anti-Defamation League

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