Need to ‘prove’ global antisemitism meets contempt
Critiques from 1) Philip Weiss and 2) Noah Feldman of the ADL survey 3) CiF, Guardian and 4) ADL’s findings from its global survey. It did not highlight that antisemitic feeling was lowest in Iran amongst ME countries.
British police escort a Romanian from Hyde Park. Research shows that hostility to Romanians and gypsies is enormously higher than hostility to Jews. Which UKIP knows and a serious survey by ADL would discover.
By Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss
May 20, 2014
The ADL report on global anti-Semitism is getting a lot of negative reviews. A central question is, Why didn’t the Anti-Defamation League survey Israelis on their anti-Semitic beliefs when it was traveling the world to survey people in 102 countries, representing 4 billion people in the world? As David Samel asked here yesterday.
Here are two other criticisms from the web.
Jim Lobe at Lobelog has explored the data on which the survey is based, and comes up with some insights about people’s attitudes about Israel. He begins by listing questions asked of respondents:
1) Do you have a favorable or unfavorable or unfavorable opinion of Israel?…
3) Do actions taken by the State of Israel influence your opinions about Jews, or do they not influence your opinions about Jews? …
4) Would you say that the actions Israel takes generally give you a better opinion of Jews or a worse opinion of Jews? This question was asked only of those who in question 3 above said the actions of Israel influence their opinions of Jews…
On question 3 — whether actions by the State of Israel influenced respondents’ opinions about Jews — 16% said “major influence,” 19% “minor,” 42% said none; and 23% volunteered that they “didn’t know.”
And on question 4, for the 35% who said Israel’s actions did influence their opinions about Jews, 25% said they had a better opinion, but 57% said their opinion of Jews was worsened by Israel’s action, while another 17% volunteered that they didn’t know how they were influenced.
Police use water cannon to disperse Belgium’s European Dissidents Congress who are running in the 2014 Euro-elections. Organisers of the “European Dissidents’ Congress” aim to bring together a string of controversial far-right figures that included comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, who has faced repeated convictions for anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and incitement to racial hatred in France.
Now, those are not insignificant numbers. According to the ADL, the 53,000-plus respondents represent nearly 4.2 billion people, which means the 35% who said that Israel’s actions influenced their opinions of Jews represent nearly 1.5 billion people. Fifty-seven percent of those 1.5 billion adults translates to 855 million people who, if we extrapolate from the survey’s methodology, are willing to tell pollsters outright that Israel’s actions make them see Jews in a more negative light; which is to say, make them anti-Jewish or more anti-Jewish than they already were…
it seems safe to say that Israel’s actions — at least as reported by those same mass media — do not help the cause of eliminating anti-Semitism around the world, and especially in its own neighborhood where, in fact, Israeli actions have been felt most directly.
American poster, ND.
In the same reasonable spirit of suggesting that some attitudes may be based on some Jews’ behavior, Noah Feldman at Bloomberg notes the extent to which the negative stereotypes of Jews that the ADL asked about touch on widely-held attitudes about Jews.
As the pollster makes a continuing series of anti-Semitic statements, the addressee may well have the experience of feeling increasingly reminded of whatever latent anti-Semitic beliefs he may have…
Those negative stereotypes include such statements as “Jews have too much power in the business world,” “Jews have too much power in international financial markets,” “Jews have too much control over global affairs,” “Jews think they are better than other people,” “Jews have too much control over the United States government,” and “Jews have too much control over the global media.”
At the Forward Jay Michaelson also says that he failed the test.
Why is anyone taking the Anti-Defamation League’s survey on global anti-Semitism seriously?
He states flatly that Jews have too much control over the U.S. government and that we have disproportionate influence over business and media matters, but doesn’t see that as negative.
How about too much “control over the United States government”? Here, the answer must be yes, proportionally speaking. How many U.N. resolutions does the U.S. think it can veto before, at some point, this canard becomes impossible to resist
While Feldman says that the alleged anti-Semitic belief that Jews feel more loyalty to Israel than to the country they live in might be actual fact.
If I believed that some or even most Jews would take the side of Israel in the case of a serious conflict with their own countries, would that belief help qualify me as an anti-Semite? Don’t get me wrong, it would be bad for Jews in many countries if such polls were performed. But thinking you know what they might say isn’t bias.
So Feldman and Michaelson are saying that Jews can hold alleged anti-Semitic stereotypes, which surely runs against the ADL’s perception of the problem. Feldman raises the point that Samel and Marsha Cohen have: Why didn’t the ADL survey Israelis? Wouldn’t many Jews share these beliefs?
Then there is a final, telling omission: Why didn’t the ADL poll in Israel? They did poll in the West Bank and Gaza, where they got the highest anti-Jewish result they found anywhere. Is it because no one really wants to hear how the world’s only majority Jewish population would have done on the quiz?
This isn’t a criticism, but Fareed Zakaria picked the poll up:
Scott Roth @scottroth76
That was interesting what Fareed Zakaria did with that absurd ADL anti-Semitism survey.
And what did he do with it?
He mentioned the report and then asked viewers what country in the Mideast was the least anti semitic.
1. Palestinian terr
Answer is Iran.
Marsha Cohen also noted that Iran is the least anti-Semitic country in the Middle East, according to the survey.
Below, A popular American poster after the election of Barack Obama. An AP poll found that the share of Americans who express racial prejudice against blacks and Hispanics has increased in recent years. Photo courtesy of Facebook.
Hey, what’s this to do with Jews for Justice? It’s all to with stereotypes. Prince Harry, above, is a stereotype of the British upper class. It may be right, it may be wrong – but it’s as powerful a stereotype as a hook-nosed Jew counting his gold.
By Noah Feldman, Bloomberg
May 15, 2014
Wouldn’t it be interesting to poll people in 100 countries and find out what prejudices they have? Well, yes, if you have the resources. Unfortunately, the Anti-Defamation League, which has released a poll claiming to study anti-Semitism globally, didn’t quite do that. Instead of designing a neutral questionnaire that would compare anti-Jewish attitudes to negative attitudes about other religions or ethnicities, it asked a series of 11 questions that stacked the deck in favor of anti-Semitic answers. It then defined you as an anti-Semite if you answered yes to six of the 11 questions.
The results might tell you something about relative degrees of anti-Semitism in different places — surprise: Saudis have a more negative attitude toward Jews than Danes do. But other than the rhetorical effect of announcing that a quarter of the world’s people are anti-Jewish, the poll offers precious little in the way of actual knowledge.
The poll’s methodology is what’s most disappointing. Derived from a survey model first developed more than 50 years ago, when social science knowledge about polling was in its infancy, the questionnaire offers a series of statements made essentially without context. The person being questioned has only three options to answer: probably true, probably false, or “don’t recognize,” meaning the person basically has no idea what the pollster is talking about.
To give you a flavor, the first four read like this: Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country; Jews have too much power in the business world; Jews have too much power in international financial markets; Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust”
Taken individually, these questions are problematic. Start with the first one, about Jewish loyalty, which the pollsters altered in countries with tiny numbers of Jews to read, “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the countries they live in.” It’s not at all clear to me that such a statement necessarily reflects an anti-Semitic worldview. I myself have no idea what Jews around the world would say in an anonymous poll about where their loyalties lie. But would it really be so terrible if, for example, Jews living under Vladimir Putin were more loyal to Israel than to Mother Russia? If I believed that some or even most Jews would take the side of Israel in the case of a serious conflict with their own countries, would that belief help qualify me as an anti-Semite? Don’t get me wrong, it would be bad for Jews in many countries if such polls were performed. But thinking you know what they might say isn’t bias.
Questions two and three are worrisome because they’re essentially the same question — ordinary people don’t differentiate “the business world” from financial markets. Repetitiousness wouldn’t be a problem in itself — except that the anti-Semitism index asks whether you answered six questions affirmatively. Two questions based on the same prejudice distorts the results.
Then there’s the Holocaust. Considering that about half of respondents had never heard of the Holocaust, it’s asking a lot for them to judge whether that tragedy is being discussed “too much.” But more fundamentally, suppose a person thought that discussion of the Holocaust does take up too much air-time in political discourse compared to other genocides or massive global crimes on the order of African slavery. Such a view might be wrong or right — but is it by definition anti-Semitic?
Taken collectively, the questions are in some ways even more troubling. As the pollster makes a continuing series of anti-Semitic statements, the addressee may well have the experience of feeling increasingly reminded of whatever latent anti-Semitic beliefs he may have. Each statement makes the ones after it more salient in the listener’s mind, and each may prime the listener for a particular response. Today we have a sophisticated understanding of how certain questions in a poll can shape the answers to others. A poll consisting of nothing but a series of anti-Semitic propositions runs the risk of becoming a cascade that the respondent will feel drawn to join.
Admittedly, not everyone is sucked in. Countries where people know little or nothing of the Jews — say, Laos or Vietnam — have low index scores. And in Nordic countries, as well as the U.K. and the U.S., where people know that the attitudes in question count as anti-Semitic, low scores are also produced. Countries with large concentrations of Muslims generally produce higher indices, explaining for example the 53 percent score for Senegal, much higher than other central African states with fewer Muslims. In a gross way, the poll reveals something.
But given its methodology, it’s fair to ask what the purpose of the poll really is. And it’s tempting speculate that it is aimed to convince us that the world needs the ADL, and that we should donate money to it.
Then there is a final, telling omission: Why didn’t the ADL poll in Israel? They did poll in the West Bank and Gaza, where they got the highest anti-Jewish result they found anywhere. Is it because no one really wants to hear how the world’s only majority Jewish population would have done on the quiz
Anti-Semitism should not be waved around like a propaganda tool
A new report on a serious issue reveals the decidedly political agenda of its authors instead
By Donna Nevel and Marilyn Kleinberg Neimark, theguardian.com
May 15, 2014
This week the Anti-Defamation League – an organization with a long history of trying to silence and intimidate those who don’t share their unwavering support for Israel and its policies – published a survey ringing the alarm about anti-Semitism. Rather than advance our understanding of this serious issue, the survey seems predictably designed to stir up fear that Jew-hatred is a growing global phenomenon that puts the world’s Jews universally at risk, and that the biggest culprits are Muslims and Arabs, particularly Palestinians.
While some responses to the survey may well be of legitimate concern, many of its questions are pointedly designed to skew the results because they have little to do with revealing actual anti-Semitism, as defined, for example, by the US Holocaust Museum. For example, one question asked whether Jews think more highly of themselves than of other groups, and answering yes tallies points in the anti-Semitic column. But common sense suggests that almost anyone in the world would likely answer affirmatively about any other ethnic or religious community.
The most striking example of a leading question undergirds the ADL’s claim that the highest percentage of anti-Semitism is among Palestinians who live in the occupied territories. The ADL asked a group of people for whom the movement of goods, money and labor is controlled by Israel, “Do Jews have too much power in the business world?”. Were they really to be expected to answer anything but “yes”?
The survey also labels as anti-Semitic any belief, including by Palestinians in the occupied territories, that Jews talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust – despite other responses that indicate that too many people in the world don’t know about the Holocaust at all. But Palestinians commonly hear the Holocaust used to justify the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes in 1948, and as justification for the continued occupation under which Palestinians are subjected to daily denial of their basic human rights.
The main questions in the ADL survey are designed to gin up paranoia.
The ADL report comes out on the heels of a Pew research study showing that, for instance, bias against Roma and Muslim people exceeds that against Jews in Europe. We believe the goals of a group that calls itself the Anti-Defamation League would be better served if it allied itself with other targeted groups to combat all dangerous prejudices – instead of just using anti-Semitism as a propaganda tool to advance a decidedly political agenda.
• This article was amended on 16 May 2014 to remove a paragraph that made a reference to “loyalty to Israel” that was inconsistent with Guardian editorial guidelines.
Only 54 Percent of Respondents Have Heard of the Holocaust
ADL media release
May 13, 2014
New York, NY … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today released the results of an unprecedented worldwide survey of anti-Semitic attitudes. The ADL Global 100: An Index of Anti-Semitism surveyed 53,100 adults in 102 countries and territories in an effort to establish, for the first time, a comprehensive data-based research survey of the level and intensity of anti-Jewish sentiment across the world.
The survey found that anti-Semitic attitudes are persistent and pervasive around the world. More than one-in-four adults, 26 percent of those surveyed, are deeply infected with anti-Semitic attitudes. This figure represents an estimated 1.09 billion people around the world.
The overall ADL Global 100 Index score represents the percentage of respondents who answered “probably true” to six or more of 11 negative stereotypes about Jews. An 11-question index has been used by ADL as a key metric in measuring anti-Semitic attitudes in the United States for the last 50 years.
“For the first time we have a real sense of how pervasive and persistent anti-Semitism is today around the world,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “The data from the Global 100 Index enables us to look beyond anti-Semitic incidents and rhetoric and quantify the prevalence of anti-Semitic attitudes across the globe. We can now identify hotspots, as well as countries and regions of the world where hatred of Jews is essentially non-existent.”
Made possible by a generous grant from the New York philanthropist Leonard Stern, the ADL Global 100 Index constitutes the most comprehensive assessment ever of anti-Semitic attitudes globally, encompassing 102 countries and territories in seven major regions of the world and accounting for about 88 percent of the world’s total adult population.
Available through an interactive web site at http://global100.adl.org, the survey will give researchers, students, governments and members of the public direct access to a treasure trove of current data about anti-Semitic attitudes globally and how they vary widely along religious, ethnic, national and regional lines. The survey also ranks countries and territories in numerical order from the least anti-Semitic (Laos, at 0.2 percent of the adult population) to the most (West Bank and Gaza, where anti-Semitic attitudes, at 93 percent, are pervasive throughout society).
“The level of anti-Semitism in some countries and regions, even those where there are no Jews, is in many instances shocking,” said Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL National Chair. “We hope this unprecedented effort to measure and gauge anti-Semitic attitudes globally will serve as a wake-up call to governments, to international institutions and to people of conscience that anti-Semitism is not just a relic of history, but a current event.”
At the same time, there are highly encouraging notes in the ADL survey.
In majority English-speaking countries, the percentage of those with anti-Semitic attitudes is 13 percent, far lower than the overall average. Protestant majority countries in general have the lowest ratings of anti-Semitic attitudes, as compared to any other majority religious country. And 28 percent of respondents around the world do not believe that any of the 11 anti-Semitic stereotypes tested are “probably true.”
ADL commissioned First International Resources to conduct the poll of attitudes and opinions toward Jews. Fieldwork and data collection for this global public opinion project were conducted and coordinated by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research. The data was culled from interviews conducted between July 2013 and February 2014 in 96 languages and dialects via landline telephones, mobile phones and face-to-face discussions. Respondents were selected at random and constituted a demographically representative sample of the adult populations.
Respondents were asked a series of 11 questions based on age-old stereotypes about Jews, including classical stereotypes about Jewish power, loyalty, money and behavior. Those who responded affirmatively to six or more negative statements about Jews are considered to hold anti-Semitic attitudes. The margin of error for most countries, where 500 respondents were selected, was +/- 4.4 percent. In various larger countries, where 1,000 interviews were conducted, the margin of error was +/- 3.2 percent.
Among the major findings of the ADL Global 100 Index:
More than one-quarter of those surveyed, 26 percent, harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, representing an estimated 1.09 billion adults around the world;
Only 54 percent of those polled globally have ever heard of the Holocaust. Two out of three people surveyed have either never heard of the Holocaust, or do not believe historical accounts to be accurate.
The most widely accepted anti-Semitic stereotype worldwide is: “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country/the countries they live in.” Overall, 41 percent of those surveyed believe this statement to be “probably true.” This is the most widely accepted stereotype in five out of the seven regions surveyed.
The second most widely accepted stereotype worldwide is “Jews have too much power in the business world.” Overall, 35 percent of those surveyed believe this statement to be “probably true.” This is also the most widely held stereotype in Eastern Europe.
Among the 74 percent of those surveyed who indicated they had never met a Jewish person, 25 percent harbor anti-Semitic attitudes. Of the 26 percent overall who harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, 70 percent have never met a Jewish person.
Three out of 10 respondents, 30 percent, believe Jews make up between 1 to 10 percent of the world’s population. Another 18 percent believe Jews make up more than 10 percent of the world’s population. Sixteen percent (16%) responded less than 1 percent. (The actual number of Jewish people as a percentage of the world’s population is 0.19 percent).
“When it comes to Holocaust awareness, while only 54 percent of those polled had heard of the Holocaust — a disturbingly low number — the numbers were far better in Western Europe, where 94 percent of those polled were aware of the history,” Mr. Foxman said. “At the same time, the results confirm a troubling gap between older adults who know their history and younger men and women who, more than 70 years after the events of World War II, are more likely to have never heard of or learned about what happened to the six million Jews who perished.”
ADL GLOBAL INDEX: ANTI-SEMITISM BY REGION
The highest concentration of respondents holding anti-Semitic attitudes was found in Middle East and North African countries (“MENA”), where nearly three-quarters of respondents, 74 percent of those polled, agreed with a majority of the anti-Semitic stereotypes that comprise the 11-question index. Non-MENA countries have an average index score of 23 percent.
Outside MENA, the index scores by region were as follows:
Eastern Europe: 34 percent
Western Europe: 24 percent
Sub-Saharan Africa: 23 percent
Asia: 22 percent
The Americas: 19 percent
Oceania: 14 percent
“While it is startling to see how high the level of anti-Semitism is in the Middle East and North African countries, the fact of the matter is even aside from those countries, close to a quarter of those polled in other parts of the world is infected with anti-Semitic attitudes,” said Mr. Foxman. “There is only a three-point difference when you take world attitudes toward Jews with the Middle East and North African countries, or consider the world without.”
Mr. Curtiss-Lusher added: “We are especially troubled that the stereotypes about Jews which received the most support worldwide were those generating dangerous political anti-Semitism, including the beliefs that Jews are more loyal to Israel than to their own countries, that Jews have too much power in the business world, or that Jews have too much influence in finance. These stereotypes are fueled by conspiracy theories on the Internet, and in some countries it is still politically expedient to scapegoat and blame Jews for social, economic and political ills by accusing them of having ‘dual loyalties’ or even of being a foreign enemy in their midst.”
HIGHEST AND LOWEST COUNTRIES
The ADL Global 100 Index found that anti-Semitic attitudes vary widely by country and by region. The 16 countries with the highest index scores of anti-Semitic views are all in the Middle East and North Africa. Greece, with 69 percent of the adult population falling into the anti-Semitic category, was the highest country outside of MENA. In other countries in the index anti-Semitism was found to be virtually non-existent, particularly in the Scandinavian countries and in Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines.
Levels of anti-Semitic attitudes are particularly low in English speaking countries. According to the ADL Global 100 Index, only 13 percent of people living in English-speaking countries harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, which is half the worldwide average.
The top countries/territories in the ADL 100 Global Index are:
West Bank and Gaza – 93 percent of the adult population holds anti-Semitic views
Iraq – 92 percent
Yemen – 88 percent
Algeria – 87 percent
Libya – 87 percent
Tunisia – 86 percent
Kuwait – 82 percent
Bahrain – 81 percent
Jordan – 81 percent
Morocco – 80 percent
The lowest-ranked countries in the ADL Global Index are:
Laos – 0.2 percent of the adult population holds anti-Semitic views
Philippines — 3 percent
Sweden – 4 percent
Netherlands – 5 percent
Vietnam – 6 percent
United Kingdom – 8 percent
United States – 9 percent
Denmark – 9 percent
Tanzania – 12 percent
Thailand – 13 percent
“We were profoundly disappointed about the resilience of anti-Semitism in many countries where we had hoped to see lower numbers, particularly some in Eastern Europe that experienced the war and the Holocaust firsthand,” Mr. Foxman said. “On the other hand, there is a silver lining in countries such as Denmark, the U.K., the Netherlands and Sweden – all Protestant majority countries – where we found incredibly low levels of anti-Semitic beliefs. The Czech Republic stands out as well as being one of the lowest-ranked countries in Eastern Europe, with only 13 percent of the population manifesting anti-Semitic views. This is a testament to the high levels of tolerance and acceptance in Czech society.”
RELIGIOUS BELIEFS AND ANTI-SEMITISM
Nearly half of all Muslims surveyed around the world responded “probably true” to at least 6 of the 11 index stereotypes in the ADL Global 100. Likewise, Christians in Eastern Orthodox and Catholic countries are more likely to harbor anti-Semitic views than those in Protestant countries. Key findings:
Among Muslims, which comprise 22.7 percent of the world population, 49 percent harbor anti-Semitic attitudes. In MENA, the number of Muslims holding anti-Semitic attitudes is 75 percent.
There are substantially lower levels of anti-Semitic beliefs among Muslims outside of MENA: with Asia at 37 percent; Western Europe at 29 percent; Eastern Europe at 20 percent; and Sub-Saharan Africa at 18 percent.
There were substantially higher levels of anti-Semitic beliefs among Christians in MENA, at 64 percent, compared with Christians outside of MENA.
Overall, 24 percent of Christians fall into the anti-Semitic category.
Other religions polled included Hindu, at 19 percent anti-Semitic; Buddhist, at 17 percent anti-Semitic; and “no religion,” at 21 percent anti-Semitic.
Christians in Eastern Orthodox and Catholic countries are more likely to harbor anti-Semitic views than those in Protestant countries. This was true of non-Christians in these countries too, so there are likely larger factors at work.
For perpetuating Jewish institutions see Israel’s golden goose – the Jewish Diaspora, Anshel Pfeffer, May 2014