CNN survey: Disturbing rise in European anti-Semitism

Europeans appear to be returning to a pre-Holocaust mentality where Jews are concerned, according to recent CNN poll.

By Joseph Wolkin, World Israel News

The Holocaust is starting to fade from the minds of Europeans, and they’re returning to a pre-Holocaust mentality which ascribes undue influence in politics, the media and the economy to Jews, a CNN poll suggests.

According to CNN, “more than a quarter of Europeans surveyed believe Jews have too much influence in business and finance. Nearly one in four said Jews have too much influence in conflict and wars across the world.”

One out of five surveyed also say Jews have too much influence in media and politics – a sentiment similar to what Nazis expressed in the 1930s.

The survey conducted in September, and whose results were recently released, polled over 7,000 citizens in seven European nations – France, Austria, Poland, Sweden, Germany, Great Britain and Hungary.

It found that 32 percent say “Jews use genocide’s memory to advance their interests.”

“About one European in 20 in the countries CNN surveyed has never heard of the Holocaust, even though it’s less than 75 years since the end of World War II, and there are still tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors alive today,” CNN Senior News Editor Richard Allen Greene writes.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced his disquiet about the poll results, telling CNN’s Oren Liebermann, “I’m concerned, because I think anti-Semitism is an ancient disease and when it rears its ugly head, it first attacks the Jews, but it never stops with that, and then it sweeps entire societies, as happened obviously in mid-century Europe. First in Germany and then throughout all of Europe and the consequences were horrible.”

Positive note

While the poll’s results are a cause for worry, there were some positive notes. Two-thirds of Europeans said that commemorating the Holocaust was important and helped “ensure that such atrocities will never happen again,” Greene reported.

“That figure rises to 80 percent in Poland, where the Nazis established Auschwitz, the deadliest concentration camp of all,” he writes.

In all of the countries featured in the CNN survey, a majority or near-majority of those questioned had never  met a Jew.

However, most exaggerated the number of Jews in their nation’s population, guessing between three-to-10 percent.

Israel is in fact the only country with a Jewish population of more than two percent.