Eurobarometer: Half of Europeans and 14% of Cypriots consider antisemitism as problem in their country

Half (50%) of Europeans and 14% of Cypriots consider that antisemitism is a problem in their country and only around a third of Europeans (36%) and just 8% of Cypriots believe that antisemitism has increased in their country over the past five years, according to a special eurobarometer survey, released today in Brussels.

Eurobarometer conducted 27.643 interviews in the EU, between 04 and 20 of December 2018, of which 499 in Cyprus.

Holocaust denial is considered the most pernicious problem, followed by antisemitism on the Internet, antisemitic graffiti or vandalism, and expressions of hostility and threats towards Jewish people in public places.

Some 68% of Europeans feel that people in their country are not well informed about the history, customs and practices of national Jewish people in their country. This is the majority view in all 28 EU Member States. Only 3% of Europeans feel that people are very well informed. Only 7% of the Cypriots answered in the affirmative.

More than six in ten Europeans (61%) know there is a law in their country that criminalises incitement to violence or hatred against Jewish people. A majority gave this answer in 22 EU Member States.

More than four in ten Europeans (42%) are aware that there is a law against Holocaust denial in their country. More than a third are not aware (34%), and close to a quarter (24%) ‘don’t know’. In Cyprus answers to this question were 5% positive and 47% negative.

More than four in ten Europeans (43%) think that the genocide of the Jewish people, the Holocaust, is sufficiently taught in schools of their country, but nearly the same proportion (42%) think the opposite. In Cyprus 68% responds that the Holocaust is not sufficiently taught in schools, while 26% views Holocaust denial as a problem in the cypriot society.

Over half of Europeans (54%) believe that the conflicts in the Middle East have an influence on the way Jewish people are perceived in their country. A majority share this opinion in 13 Member States, mainly in Northern and Western Europe. Answers in Cyprus were 54% positive and 25% negative.

Respondents are divided when asked whether antisemitism has increased, stayed the same or decreased in their country over the past five years9. Close to four in ten believe that antisemitism has remained the same (39%), 36% think that it has increased. A tenth consider that antisemitism has decreased over the past five years (10%), and 15% express no opinion.

In six EU Member States, a majority think that antisemitism has increased in their country: Sweden (73%), Germany (61%), the Netherlands (55%), France (51%), Denmark (50% vs 34% stayed the same) and the United Kingdom (44% vs 33%).

In 22 EU Member States, majorities of respondents consider that antisemitism has remained the same in their country over the past five years. More than half the respondents agree in 13 countries, with the highest proportions observed in Lithuania (63%), Slovenia (62%) and Estonia (60%).

At least a fifth of respondents believe that antisemitism has decreased in their country over the past five years in Romania (29%), Hungary (22%), Lithuania (21%) and Latvia (20%).

However, at least a quarter of respondents answer that they don’t know in five countries: Bulgaria (50%), Cyprus (32%), Estonia (26%), and Romania and Portugal (25% in both countries).

Alongside the majorities believing that antisemitism has increased in six Member States, around a third of respondents share this opinion in Belgium (36%), Austria (33%), Finland (32%) and Italy (31%). Around a quarter do so in Hungary (26%), while less than a fifth of respondents agree in the remaining 17 countries, with the lowest proportions observed in Bulgaria (2%), Portugal (4%), and Lithuania and Romania (both 6%).

In seven EU Member States, a majority of respondents believe that antisemitic graffiti or vandalism of Jewish buildings or institutions is a problem in their country: France (80%), Sweden (78%), the Netherlands (65%), Germany (62%), Italy (60%), Belgium (52%) and the United Kingdom (50% vs 35% not a problem). At least a fifth think it is a very important problem in France (45%), Sweden (43%), Germany (23%), the United Kingdom (21%) and Italy (20%).

However, in 20 countries only a minority see this as a problem, with the lowest proportions in Malta (4% a problem), Estonia (8%) and Finland (12%).

Respondents in Poland are evenly divided (45% vs 45%). In Cyprus only a 18% feels that this is a problem, while 74% doesnt.

In the same seven EU Member States as previously, a majority of respondents think that expressions of hostility and threats towards Jewish people in the street or other public places are a problem in their country: France (80%), Sweden (75%), Germany (64%), Italy and the Netherlands (both 61%), Belgium (59%) and the United Kingdom (51%). At least a fifth believe that this is a very important problem in France (47%), Sweden (46%), Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom (all 24%) and the Netherlands (20%).

In 21 Member States a minority of respondents consider that this is a problem, with the lowest levels in Estonia (7%), Malta (8%) and Latvia (11%).

Desecration of Jewish cemeteries is seen as a problem in their country by a majority of respondents in eight EU Member States: France (84%), Sweden (73%), Germany (63%), Italy (59%), Belgium (54%), the Netherlands (51%), Hungary (47% vs 46% not a problem) and the United Kingdom (43% vs 37%). More than a quarter say that this is a very important problem in France (58%), Sweden (46%), and Germany and Italy (both 27%).

However, only a minority of respondents describe the desecration of Jewish cemeteries as a problem in the remaining 20 Member States, with the lowest proportions in Malta (5%), Estonia (9%) and Finland (13%).

A majority of respondents say that physical attacks against Jewish people are a problem in their country in the same seven Member States as for graffiti and vandalism: France (83%), Sweden (73%), Germany (64%), Italy (60%), Belgium (56%), the United Kingdom (50% vs 36% not a problem) and the Netherlands (50% vs 44%). At least a fifth think it is a very important problem in eight countries: France (54%), Sweden (49%), Germany (30%), the United Kingdom (26%), Italy (23%), the Netherlands (21%), and Belgium and Romania (20% in both countries).

However, this is the minority view in the remaining 21 EU Member States, with the lowest scores in Estonia and Malta (5% say it is a problem in both countries), and Latvia (10%). In Cyprus 18% says that this is a problem in the country and 75% says it does not.

Respondents who say that antisemitism in schools and universities is a problem in their country form a majority in just five EU Member States: France (73%), Italy (58%), Sweden (57%), Belgium (52%) and Germany (48% vs 35% not a problem). More than a fifth of respondents believe that this manifestation of antisemitism is a very important problem in France (45%), Sweden (36%) and Italy (21%).

In 23 Member States, a minority of respondents consider that antisemitism in schools and universities is a problem in their country, with the lowest levels in Malta (6% a problem), Estonia (7%) and Finland (9%). Answers in Cyprus are 19% positive and 73% negative.

In six EU Member States, a majority of respondents believe that antisemitism in political life is a problem in their country: Sweden (63%), France (59%), the United Kingdom (56%), Hungary (51%), Germany (50% vs 41% not a problem) and Italy (50% vs 42%). At least a fifth of respondents see this as a very important problem in Sweden (37%), France (32%), the United Kingdom (26%) and Hungary (20%).

A minority of respondents think that this is a problem in 22 Member States, with the lowest levels in Estonia and Malta (6% a problem in both countries), and Latvia (11%). Answers in Cyprus are 18% positive and 70% negative.

In four EU Member States, majorities feel that antisemitism in the media is a problem: France (63%), Italy (53%), Sweden (52%) and the United Kingdom (49% vs 37% not a problem). In these four countries, more than a fifth think that this situation is a very important problem: France (33%), Sweden (29%), Italy (22%) and the United Kingdom (21%).

This is the minority view in 23 Member States, with the lowest proportions in Estonia (7%), Malta and Latvia (10% in both countries).

In Hungary, respondents are evenly divided regarding this situation (47% vs 47%). Answers in Cyprus are 21% positive and 71% negative.

More than four in ten Europeans consider that the Holocaust is sufficiently taught in the schools of their country (43%, including 13% answering yes, definitely)16. However, a similar proportion consider that the Holocaust is not sufficiently taught in national schools (42%, with 13% saying no, not at all). Lastly, 15% say that they don’t know. In Cyprus 26% of the respondent see that as a problem and 65% as not.

Source: Cyprus News Agency