Shocking new ADL report on worldwide Antisemitism

ADL National Director Abraham Foxman presents the results of the global antisemitism survey

In case anyone had any doubts, the ADL’s latest survey on antisemitism has produced shocking results. The survey was massive by any standards:

The survey was conducted in more than 100 countries and territories, and 53,100 people were interviewed, representing 4 billion adults around the world.

To anyone who has been paying attention to what is going on around the world, the results, while shocking, are not really surprising. But there are apparently a lot of people who have not been paying attention judging by the horrified reactions:

More than one-quarter of the people surveyed (26 percent) harbor anti-Semitic attitudes. The stereotypes receiving the most support worldwide were those questioning the loyalty of Jews and those asserting excessive Jewish power and influence. And, despite decades of efforts to promote Holocaust awareness, only 33 percent of those surveyed are aware of the Holocaust and believe that it is accurately described by historians.

The ADL tried to shed some positive light on the results:

Indeed, one of the many fascinating aspects of this poll is the positive side of the story, highlighted by countries where anti-Semitic attitudes are absent or relatively minor. We see that in several Asian countries, like Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines. We see lower numbers in several West European countries such as Sweden and the Netherlands. And, in general, English-speaking countries have significantly better attitudes than the world at large toward Jews.

These positive findings are important. They show how varied attitudes are and suggest the need for further investigation to determine what common factors bring people in some countries to have more positive attitudes toward Jews.

As to their methodology, the ADL says:

over the years questions have been raised about ADL’s methodology in assessing attitudes through similar polling. ADL polling is based on an index of anti-Semitism developed back in the 1960s by academics from the University of California, Berkeley. They looked at 11 classic stereotypes about Jews — statements about Jewish power and influence, Jewish loyalty and personal traits.

The index we used in the Global 100 is based on these 11 stereotypes. Our analysis rests on the idea that if an individual agrees with six or more of these stereotypes, he or she is deemed to have anti-Semitic attitudes. The strength of this methodology is its high bar: It does not rest on agreeing with any one statement. But agreeing to six or more of these age-old anti-Semitic assertions makes clear one’s biased attitude toward Jews.

Moreover, these 11 statements are not random. These are stereotypes that represent the main anti-Jewish canards through the millennia.

Fourth, there is the question of the relationship between attitudes toward Israel and attitudes toward Jews. It is evident that the Middle East conflict matters with regard to anti-Semitism. However, from our findings in the survey, it is not clear whether the Middle East conflict is the cause, or rather the excuse, for anti-Semitism. Either way, the high numbers of those who harbor anti-Semitic attitudes in the Middle East and North Africa are a challenge to the region — and the international community — going forward.

And here is the most politically-incorrect result of the survey:

When it comes to religious factors affecting anti-Semitic attitudes, Muslims have significantly higher anti-Semitic attitudes overall than do members of other religions. If, however, we only look at the countries outside of the Middle East and North Africa, the numbers for anti-Semitic attitudes for Muslims are still higher than those among Christians but not significantly so.

Here are the results in more detail:

The Middle East is the most anti-Semitic region on earth, with 93% of Palestinians holding anti-Semitic beliefs, a global survey of anti-Semitism revealed Tuesday morning. The survey conducted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) across 100 nations and territories revealed that almost half of the world’s adults have never heard of the Holocaust, while over a quarter hold anti-Semitic attitudes.


The top such anti-Semitism hotspot, the survey noted, was the West Bank and Gaza, where the ADL found that anti-Semitic attitudes topped 93%. The survey goes on to rank countries and territories from most to least anti-Semitic.

The south Asian country of Laos brings up the bottom, with only 0.2% of the adult population holding anti-Semitic beliefs.


Beyond the West Bank and Gaza, the survey found that in the Middle East and North Africa, 74% of those polled agreed with a majority of the anti-Semitic stereotypes in the index. In comparison, countries outside of the region have an average index score of 23%. The second most anti-Semitic region of the world is Eastern Europe, where some 34% of the population hold anti-Semitic beliefs.


“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,” Foxman wrote, responding to the data before the press event.

“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,” he added. The survey revealed that the Middle Eastern country with the least anti-Semitic inclinations was Iran, where some 56% percent of the adult population held anti-Semitic beliefs.

Unlike most of the world, however, anti-Semitism in the Middle East and North Africa tends to increase commensurate with the respondents’ education levels – the opposite of what is seen in Europe, Asia and the Americas.


The poll showed that the most widely accepted anti-Semitic stereotype worldwide is: “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country/the countries they live in” – a statement believed to be “probably true” by 41% of those surveyed. The second most widely accepted stereotype worldwide is “Jews have too much power in the business world,” which was believed to be “probably true” by 35% of those surveyed. This was the most widely-accepted stereotype in Eastern Europe.

Here is one of the most startling results of the survey – antisemitism without Jews:

The majority of people surveyed – 74% – indicated that they had never met a Jewish person, while of the 26% of people who harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, 70% said that they had never met a Jewish person. At the same time, only 16% of the people surveyed correctly identified the world’s Jewish population as less than one percent of the total world population, while 18% believe that over one out of every ten people in the world is Jewish.


“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,” Foxman said.


The survey also documented key distinctions among countries based on the majority religions in the states. Foxman described finding “incredibly low levels of anti-Semitic beliefs” in European Protestant-majority countries such as Denmark, the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Sweden. Of the least anti-Semitic countries, five were majority-Protestant and four were in east Asia. The one outlier among the top ten that fit into neither group was Tanzania.

On the other extreme, 49% of all Muslims surveyed around the world responded “probably true” to at least 6 of the 11 index stereotypes in the poll, which also found that Christians in Eastern Orthodox and Catholic countries are more likely to harbor anti-Semitic views than those in Protestant countries.

Muslims living outside of the Middle East and North Africa, however, are much less anti-Semitic. Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa come in well below the international average, with only 18% holding anti-Semitic beliefs. Muslims in Western Europe were only slightly above the global average, at 29%, while Eastern European Muslims were slightly below it, at 20%.

I find it both surprising yet very reassuring that davka in Western Europe, where talk of BDS and accusations against Israel of apartheid and racism are rife, that antisemitism is so low.

To see the results in full in an interactive display, click on the ADL’s survey page.

In summary, here are the ADL’s results:

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

As if determined to prove the ADL correct, who else but the Guardian would use the results of a survey on antisemitism in an antisemitic editorial propaganda piece? See CiFWatch for their cogent analysis of a repulsive op-ed, and kudos to CifWatch for getting the Guardian to remove the worst of its antisemitic lies.

Kol hakavod to the ADL for carrying out this distressing job and bringing the uncomfortable results to world attention.  Let us hope that the results will bring about some action on the part of international governments to counteract these racist and bigoted attitudes. Certainly a lot of work remains for all of us to do.

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12 Responses to Shocking new ADL report on worldwide Antisemitism

  1. Reality says:

    All I can say after reading this,is thank goodness I live in Israel!What a depressing result of that survey.But also another point was proved.That being how extremely anti-semitic the Palestinians are.No surprise ,but it proves yet again the impossibility of making peace with them

  2. I am waiting with baited breath for the survey on Muslims. Problem is devising questions that are considered myths about Muslims, e.g., they engage in jihad mass murder, Islamic supremacism, and Islamically-justified wife-beating, female genital mutilation, honor killing, stoning for adultery, amputation for theft, devaluation of women’s testimony, etc. are true… Better not conduct the survey… if you want to live…

  3. JudyPT says:

    The most shocking and scary thing is the fact that most of these anti semites have never even met a Jew yet have this visceral hatred inbred in them with their mothers milk.

  4. Rob Harris says:

    Very interesting report but I am skeptical of the UK being one of the least anti-Semitic countries in the world. It was at the fore-front of Western pro-Palestinism for decades, which promuligated into the New Anti-Semitism since 9/11. From personal experience, the British get intensely angry at Israel, irrationally so but often rear up in rage if the issue of anti-Semitism is ever raised. This isn’t an absolute, as many British people genuinely support Israel as well of course, but my point is that those hostile to Israel have been fed a diet of politically correct values, in other respects, from the BBC, Guardian, Independent etc. Thus they would likely know how to side-step anti-Semitism indicators. The predominant narrative is one of anti-Semitism not equating with pro-Palestinianism. However, other factors, including a three-fold increase in anti-Semitic incidents during the 2008-09 Gaza war, would suggest otherwise. Therefore, I have to wonder about the ADL’s methodology.

    • anneinpt says:

      i must admit I was extremely surprised (to put it mildly) at the results from the UK. The real question is how did they phrase their questions. Many people are extremely anti-Israel while claiming – and possibly genuinely feeling – that they have nothing against Jews or Judaism per se.

      They simply don’t understand how being anti-Israel is also antisemitic as it singles out the one Jewish country in the world.

      so I would like to have read the actual questions in the survey. However, since I have zero education in statistics, my opinion is not necessarily valid. I will rely on your good instincts instead.

  5. Rob Harris says:

    Just to add that the methodology whereby 6 out of 11 questions give an affirmative, whilst say 5 out of 11 do not, is a wee bit problematic. In Western countries, where it is socially taboo to go along with the old Nazi imagery of anti-Semitism, such indicators would fail. Having said that, it is still a very valuable survey of overall global attitudes but after reading about it last week, I couldn’t help but feel it could be used as a vindication of many Western apologists not only in Britain but in places like the Netherlands, where there appears to be substantive issues too.

  6. Elise Ronan says:

    I have to agree that I was surprised by the findings in the UK. The hotbed of anti-Israel activism can’t be low in antisemitism. One naturally breeds the other. Also to say that if you harbor less than 6 antisemitic notions you are not an antisemite is ridiculous. ONE antisemitic notion makes you an antisemite. There is no way in nations where Jews cannot walk down the street in safety wearing a kippah is there a dearth of antisemitism. So the idea that the Protestant nations are generally free of Jew-hatred is ridiculous.

    On another note, if the findings about the UK are actual reality, then it means that the antisemitism comes only from the power-elite. That the average Brit is a descent person bogged down in a nanny-state-system in which they have very little say. Sadly I see something like that is happening here in the USA I am afraid. Of course, we know that institutional antisemitism is part and parcel of the political elite here and has infected the university system same as in the UK. But you wouldn’t get them to admit that they are antisemites either. The ADL gave too many an easy out in my opinion. These people on campus or in the halls of power, are also smart enough to know how to answer these questions without sounding like Jew-haters. But listen to their rhetoric and you get an idea of who they really happen to be.

    • anneinpt says:

      These people on campus or in the halls of power, are also smart enough to know how to answer these questions without sounding like Jew-haters. But listen to their rhetoric and you get an idea of who they really happen to be.

      That is an excellent point and may go towards explaining the disparity between the amazingly good results from the UK and the reality that we perceive daily in the media.

  7. Brian Goldfarb says:

    As a Brit, I’d like to add that the greatest threats to British Jewry come from (not necessarily in this order): Jihadist/Islamist Moslems; the far right (British National Party, etc); members of the “Rancid” Left – the BDS mob, par excellence; and occasional members of major political parties, all three of which reject antisemitism root and branch as part of their policy. Even over the period of time that the Board of Deputies Defence Committee was running (and its successor, the Community Security Trust confirms this), very few Jews were physically attacked and very few community buildings were attacked. The same remains true today, despite the presence of islamist groups in the UK.

    Most Brits are indifferent to Israel/Palestine and worry far more about Islamism/Jihadism. It is tempting to confuse the majority for the minority which “leads” them. Thus, the only time that the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) was forced to hold a union-wide postal ballot on the question of BDS, they lost, decisively. Which is why the leadership has refused to do anything like it again. The fact is that most UCU members care far more about “terms and conditions” of employment and real levels of pay. They are largely disinterested in the ME: it’s a long way down their list of concerns as union members. But, for the most part, it’s only the ideologically committed who stand for election. I should know: I was a branch committee member (as the Senior Trade Union Health & Safety Representative), and I was far more moderate than most of the others – even on non-ME issues.

    • anneinpt says:

      Thank you for your very interesting background information. You have explained this before but it always bears repeating because it is so easy to be misled by the malicious reports in the media of anti-Israel sentiments, BDS and all the rest of it.

      In which case it is absolutely admirable that the percentage of antisemites in the UK is so low, considering the propaganda that the average Englishman is subjected to in the media.

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