A: It takes her over a week to see this story:
A recent survey conducted by the Anti-Defamation League found that anti-Semitic attitudes in seven European countries have worsened due to the global financial crisis and Israel’s military actions against the Palestinians.
Some 31 percent of adults polled blame Jews in the financial industry for the economic meltdown, while 58 percent of respondents admitted that their opinion of Jews has worsened due to their criticism of Israel.
The ADL, a Jewish-American organization polled 3,500 adults – 500 each in Austria, France, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom – between December 1, 2008 and January 13, 2009.
According to the survey, 40 percent of polled Europeans believe that Jews have an over-abundance of power in the business world. More than half of the respondents in Hungary, Spain and Poland agreed with this statement. These numbers were 7 percent higher in Hungary, 6 percent higher in Poland and 5 percent higher in France than those recorded in the ADL’s 2007 survey.
How much can we trust a survey put out by the ADL? Is this organization at all interested in documenting and challenging anti-Semitism? How much has it dissolved into a right-wing propaganda machine?
Because if almost a third of non-Jewish Europeans believe that Jews are controlling the world’s money, I’d kind of like to know that. But the ADL has rendered itself so irrelevant to actual Jewish concerns that I simply don’t know what to do with this information. What questions were on their survey? Whom exactly did they poll? What do they plan on doing with the results?
I do think Moshe Kantor has a point, though: the rise in anti-Semitism almost certainly has more to do with the financial situation than with the attack on Gaza. Most people in countries with significant Jewish populations don’t actually care about what happens in Palestine. (If they did, they’d spend more time trying to end the occupation and less time vandalizing synagogues.) It’s just easier to set up a binary – They Are Nothing Like Us! – when you point to the Jews with the guns.