Antisemitism and Islamophobia are on the rise across Europe, according to a survey of global opinion released yesterday.
In contrast to the US and Britain where unfavourable opinion of Jews has been stable and low for several years at between 7 and 9%, the Pew Survey of Global Attitudes found that hostile attitudes to Jews were rising all across continental Europe from Russia and Poland in the east to Spain and France in the west. The survey found that suspicion of Muslims in Europe was considerably higher than hostility to Jews, but that the increase in antisemitism had taken place much more rapidly.
"Great Britain stands out as the only European country included in the survey where there has not been a substantial increase in antisemitic attitudes," the survey found.
Antisemitism has more than doubled in Spain over the past three years, with a rise from 21% to 46%, the survey of almost 25,000 people across 24 countries found, while more than one in three Poles and Russians also had unfavourable opinions of Jews. In the same period antisemitism in Germany and France also rose - from 21% to 25% in Germany and from 12% to 20% in France among those saying they had unfavourable opinions of Jews.
"Opinions of Muslims in almost all of these countries was were more negative than are views of Jews," analysts said. While Americans and Britons displayed the lowest levels of antisemitism, one in four in both countries were hostile to Muslims.
Such Islamophobia was lower than in the rest of Europe. More than half of Spaniards and half of Germans said that they did not like Muslims and the figures for Poland and France were 46% and 38% for those holding unfavourable opinions of Muslims.
People who were antisemitic were likely also to be Islamophobes. Prejudice was marked among older generations and appeared to be class based. People over 50 and of low education were more likely to be prejudiced.