Tags: antisemitism | holocaust | israel

Anti-Semitism Is Worse Than We Thought, Survey Suggests

Anti-Semitism Is Worse Than We Thought, Survey Suggests
(Margie Hurwich/Dreamstime.com)

By Friday, 30 November 2018 12:01 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Anti-Semitism is growing. Violent murderous attacks against Jews are being perpetrated — right here and right now.

To think anti-Semitism in Europe and in America is not a reality is to live with your head buried in sand.

The synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh sent Jews and America into a downward spiral. It also woke them up. It was a clarion call — in Jewish terms it was akin to the sound of the shofar (the ram's horn) that is blown at the conclusion of Yom Kippur services.

CNN has just released a study analyzing anti-Semitism in Europe. Misconceptions about world Jewry is appalling. Prejudice against Jews is staggering. The numbers are chilling. Don't take my word for it, pay attention to CNN.

25 percent of Hungarians believe that Jews compose 20 percent of the world's population. The reality is that Jews are only 0.2 percent of the world population. The difference is vast.

One in three Europeans thinks that Jews have too much influence. The exact numbers fluctuate from country to country. In some countries one-third of the people think they are too influential, in others, it's one-fourth of the population. For example, the French, Austrians, and Germans think Jews have too much influence in war. Poles and Hungarians believe that Jews have too much influence in the areas of business, finance, and the media.

They have a reason for their beliefs and convictions.

28 percent of respondents to the CNN study explained that anti-Semitism was the result of Israel's actions. 20 percent responded that anti-Semitism in their country was the result of the behavior of Jews around the world. A whopping 35 percent responded that Israel uses the Holocaust as a means to justify its actions.

A big question emerges from this recently compiled and released data: How can all these people in all these countries give these responses in the aftermath of the Holocaust? Hatred towards Jews, we are being told, is still prevalent and pervasive in Europe, the place where 6 million Jews were murdered in, historically speaking, the recent past.

And then the answer emerges.

20 percent of French citizens between the ages of 18 and 35 have never heard of the Holocaust. And in Austria, the birthplace of Adolf Hitler, the mastermind behind the Final Solution to eliminate Jews, 40 percent of those surveyed admitting to knowing very little about the Holocaust.

The figures are as real as they are troubling and as scary as they are startling.

This study was conducted by a very reputable polling company, commissioned by CNN. Between September 7 and September 20, 2018, the company, ComResGlobal, conducted online interviews with 7,092 adults in seven countries. The breakdown was Great Britain, 1,010; France, 1,006; Germany, 1,012; Poland, 1,020; Hungary, 1,019; Sweden 1,018; Austria, 1,007. Data was weighted to be representative of each country based on age, gender and region. ComResGlobal is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by the strict rules that govern the polling process. In other words, they have the bona fides to conduct this survey and their results can and should be trusted and respected.

So — what does it all mean? And given what we now know, what many people feared in their gut to be true and now know to be true, is there any way to combat this hatred, this modern day anti-Semitism?

The best answer to both questions is education. It's also the easiest answer to give but one of the hardest to implement. Education about Jews, Israel, and the Holocaust is an interdisciplinary study. And, obviously, so far, that education has failed. The reason for the failure may very well come from another statistic that emerged in this CNN survey.

33 percent of Europeans believe that commemorating the Holocaust takes away from other atrocities.

There are many reasons to teach about the horrors of the Holocaust. Some are particularly and uniquely Jewish reasons. But the vast amount of lessons to be learned are universal lessons — they are lessons about humanity and inhumanity. Those are lessons that, when properly taught, transcend religion, geography and economics. Teachers of Holocaust history should be tasked with combining the particular with the universal.

Every single citizen of the world needs to understand this balance. Leaders, teachers, politicians, every single one of us, needs to make certain that Adolf Hitler does not gain a posthumous victory.

Kudos to CNN for tackling a very unpopular topic and for uncovering and making public some very painful truths.

Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern" a weekly TV program and "My Chopp" a daily radio spot. A dynamic speaker, he specializes in analyzing world events and evaluating their relevance and impact. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. To read more of this reports — Click Here Now.

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Anti-Semitism is growing. Violent murderous attacks against Jews are being perpetrated — right here and right now.
antisemitism, holocaust, israel
Friday, 30 November 2018 12:01 PM
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