CST Antisemitic Discourse Report 2013 - what statements and actions about Jews and Israel do Jews consider to be antisemitic?

27 Nov 2014 by CST

Below is the second extract from CST's Antisemitic Discourse Report 2013 (pdf) to be published on the CST Blog. It reports the results of an EU-funded survey of Jewish opinion, published in 2013, that included questions about statements and actions that Jewish people consider to be antisemitic. These are useful in helping to understand how Jews perceive the complicated relationship between anti-Israel views and activities, and antisemitism.

The extract begins:

EU SURVEY: What statements and actions about Jews and Israel do Jews consider to be antisemitic?

IN NOVEMBER 2013, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) published a groundbreaking survey of Jewish people’s experiences and perceptions of hate crime, discrimination and antisemitism in eight EU member states, including the United Kingdom, covering around 90% of Jews in the EU.

The survey asked respondents whether they considered different statements about Jews and Israel to be antisemitic, and also asked in what contexts they heard those antisemitic statements most often.

The survey was carried out online from September to October 2012 by the polling company Ipsos MORI, working with the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) in the UK. Across Europe, 66% of respondents said they consider antisemitism to be a “very big” or “fairly big” problem in their countries. In the UK, 48% of respondents said that antisemitism is a very big or fairly big problem (the lowest figure of all eight countries surveyed), while 52% said that it is “not a very big problem” or “not a problem at all”.

The survey found that British Jews were more likely to attribute antisemitic sentiments to a person who used classical antisemitic tropes to be antisemitic, than they were for people who criticise Israel or who campaign against it. For example, 80% of British Jews said that a person who says “The Holocaust is a myth or has been exaggerated” is “Definitely antisemitic”; 77% said that a person who believes “Jews are responsible for the current economic crisis” is “Definitely antisemitic”; and 67% said the same about a person who claims “Jews have too much power in the UK”.

Only 6% of British Jews said that they would consider a person to be “definitely antisemitic” if they criticised Israel, while 27% said that they would consider such a person to be “probably antisemitic”. Therefore around a third of British Jews think that somebody who criticises Israel is definitely or probably antisemitic, while around two-thirds said that such a person is “Probably not antisemitic” or “Definitely not antisemitic”.

Read the rest on page 16 of the report here.

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“Since 2003, CST has been a stalwart supporter of ODIHR in its efforts to effectively monitor antisemitic hate crime in the OSCE Region. With its rigorous methodology and innovative partnerships with the British police, it is viewed by many as representing the gold standard for NGO responses to all forms of hate crime. I wish CST all success in its exciting new phase of work.”

Michael Georg Link
OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights