Ethnocentric attitudes are on the rise in Europe. Growing numbers of people in several major European countries say they have an unfavorable opinion of Jews, and opinions are more negative than they were several years ago. The elitist opinions and the constant media Israel bashing agenda must have had some effect on these figures. So many newspapers find all types of insidious ways to express their feelings, thus passing these views on to their readers.
Recently the European song festival was held in Russia. Israel’s entry was performed by one Israeli (Jewish) and another Israeli (Muslim), surely this shows the multiculturalism of the country. Not so for the Times of the UK, the performance was by “a Jew and an Arab”. No reference whatsoever to the fact that the “Arab” was Muslim and Israeli. But then that doesn’t fit the charge of racism, does it?
A spring 2008 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Pew Global Attitudes Project http://pewglobal.org/reports/pdf/262.pdf finds that
- 46% of the Spanish rate Jews unfavorably compared to 21% in 2005.
- 34% of Russians compared to 21% in 2005 and
- 36% of Poles, 27% in 2005
Somewhat fewer, but still significant numbers of the Germans (25% compared to 21% in 2005) and French (20% compared to 18%) interviewed also express negative opinions of Jews. These percentages are all higher than obtained in comparable Pew surveys taken in recent years.
In a number of countries, the increase has been especially notable between 2006 and 2008. However, Great Britain stands out as the only European country included in the survey where there has not been a substantial increase in anti-Semitic attitudes. Just 9% of the British rate Jews unfavorably, compared to 7% in 2005.
Relatively small percentages in both Australia (11%) and the United States (7%) continue to view Jews unfavorably.
Anti-Jewish opinions are most prevalent among Europeans on the political right.
Yes there is a feeling that the 1930"s are being repeated but let's hope some sense will prevail.