Europeans still view Jews with suspicion

Wednesday, July 18, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

A majority of Europeans suspect local Jews of being more loyal to Israel than their host nations, and a large percentage insist the Jewish population exercises too much power in business and finance, according to the results of a new poll conducted across six European nations.

At least 50 percent of respondents in each of Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Hungary and Switzerland said they view the Jews in their countries as a potential fifth column that will always put Israel first.

The worst signs of widespread anti-Semitic sentiment were found in Hungary, where 61 percent of those polled said they think the Jews wield too much financial power.

Anti-Defamation League Director Abraham Foxman, whose organization commissioned the poll, said in a statement released to the press that the results reveal the underlying factors that gave rise to the Nazi Holocaust are still present in Europe.

“Millions of Europeans continue to accept a wide range of traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes and conspiracy theories,” said Foxman. “Despite the fact that individual governments and the EU have condemned anti-Semitism and sought ways to counteract it, these attitudes die hard and help incite and legitimize anti-Semitic acts, including violence against Jews.”

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