Despite Rising Anti-Semitism, Jews Held in High Regard in Europe

Despite rising anti-Semitic attitudes and attacks in Europe, a broad majority of Europeans still hold favorable views about Jewish people, a Pew Research Center poll published Tuesday revealed. 

The survey, conducted after the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket terror attacks in Paris in January, examines the attitudes of six European Union nations regarding minorities, including Jews, Muslims, and Roma. 

In France, over nine-in-ten (92%) citizens hold a favorable view of Jews, similar to the 89% documented in 2014, and a big jump from the 72% recorded in 1991. 

Most notably, Pew wrote in its report, was that "the intensity of that support has more than doubled, from 14% saying they were very favorably disposed toward Jews in 1991 to 39% in 2015."

Similar results were recorded in Britain, where more than eight-in-ten (86%) of respondents voiced a positive attitude toward Jews, a number that remained virtually unchanged in recent years. 

An even 80% of Germans hold a favorable opinion of Jews, with little difference in the numbers from 2014, but a marked increase from the 53% of respondents who viewed Jews favorably in 1991. 

Finally, three-quarters of Spaniards see Jews favorable, with Italy trailing slightly at 71%. Rounding out the poll is Poland, where 59% of respondents reported holding a positive attitude toward Jews. 

According to the Pew survey, the strongest anti-Semitic sentiment is felt in Poland, where 28% of citizens have an unfavorable opinion of the Jewish people. 

Muslims hold slightly less favorable sentiment than Jews in these six countries, with much of the positive opinions coming from the younger generation (aged 18-29) as opposed to those aged 50 and older. 

The survey also concluded that in most of these six countries, anti-Muslim sentiment is largely a right-wing phenomenon. The exception is Poland, with 63% of respondents on the left holding unfavorable views of Muslims versus 59% on the right. 

The most disliked minority in Europe, the survey found, are the Roma (also known as Gypsies), with anti-Roma views particularly prevalent in Italy (86%) and France (60%).

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/196286

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