Categorized | Germany

Study: 20% of Germans harbor anti-Semitism

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Surveys show about one-fifth of Germans agree with anti-Semitic statements, such as ‘Jews have too much power in business’

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A new study by a Parliament-appointed commission shows 20% of Germans harbor “latent” anti-Semitism, but anti-Jewish crimes are almost exclusively committed by the far right.

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The 188-page report – which draws on several different surveys and other research – puts Germans in the middle of the pack in Europe, with a German university survey showing more latent anti-Semitism in countries such as Poland, Hungary and Portugal, and less in Italy, Britain, the Netherlands and France.

The study released Monday said the surveys show that about one-fifth of Germans agree with anti-Semitic statements, such as “Jews have too much power in business.” 

The study also showed that 90% of anti-Semitic crimes are committed by right-wing extremists, who number about 26,000 according to official estimates. 

It recommends better coordination of local, state and federal strategies to combat anti-Semitism.

The report makes reference to “a wider acceptance in mainstream society of day-to-day anti-Jewish tirades and actions”.

“Anti-Semitism in our society is based on widespread prejudices, deeply rooted clichés and on sheer ignorance about Jews and Judaism,” stated one of the report’s authors, Dr. Peter Longerich of the University of London, Holocaust Research Center.   The report cites the Internet as a contributing factor to the spread of anti-Semitic thought.

“With regard to modern forms of communication – we point to the Internet in particular – it is virtually impossible to prevent the spread of such thinking,” Longerich continued.

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