European Survey On Antisemitism Yields Worrisome Results (Part 1)

85% consider antisemitism to be the most problem across the EU member states surveyed

The European Union Agency For Fundamental Rights (FRA) recently released the results of largest survey on antisemitism done in the EU and the results are not good.

The results and take-aways from this survey are so vast and important our summary will be split into 5 separate posts as was done in the FRA survey.

Online and in politics there is much debate on what constitutes as antisemitism and whether or not the subject of Israel is included in its definition. But what is clear from this survey, is that the majority of European Jews feel that statements against the State of Israel are antisemitic and antisemitism has become so common that the act is normalized.

Part 1: Manifestations of Antisemitism

“At work and in the media and social media, antisemitism is a daily and unrepressed occurrence.”

– Woman 40-44 years old, France

An average of 85% of the 12 EU states surveyed consider antisemitism to be the most pressing social and political problem. This number peaks in France at a whopping 95%. Antisemitism is considered a top 3 problem in 11 out of 12 EU states.

An average of 89% of the 12 EU states surveyed feel antisemitism has increased over the last 5 years. 93% of French respondents feel this to be true.

Assessment of Manifestations of Antisemitism

  • 89% of respondents say antisemitism is a big problem on the internet and social media. 95% in France.
  • 73% say expressions of hostility toward Jews in the street or other public places is a big problem. 91% in France.
  • 71% say antisemitism in the media is a big problem. 85% in Spain.
  • 70% say antisemitism in politics is a big problem. 84% in the UK.
  • 66% say vandalism of Jewish buildings and institutions is a big problem. 88% in France.
  • 64% say antisemitic graffiti is a big problem. 83% in France.
  • 63% say desecration of Jewish cemeteries is a big problem. 83% in France.
  • 88% feel antisemitism on the internet has increased in the last five years. 93% in France.

Is This Statement Antisemitic?

88% of respondents say it is antisemitic to state “the world would be a better place without Israel”.

Often the question is asked if a certain statement is antisemitic, usually to detract him or herself from accusations of being antisemitic. What is important is how the victim feels and how the victim’s life is affected by these statements. The following statements were read to the survey participants and they were asked if they feel the statement to be antisemitic.

Statement % of respondents who consider this an anti-Semitic statement % of respondents who have at least occasionally heard this statement Country where this  statement is most commonly heard
“The Holocaust is a myth or has been exaggerated”


95 61 Poland
“Jews exploit Holocaust victimhood for their own purposes”


92 69 Poland
“Jews have too much power in [Country]”


92 76 Poland
“Jews bring antisemitism on themselves”


89 71 Poland
“The world would be a better place without Israel”


88 64 Belgium
“Jews are not capable of integrating into [country’s] society”


88 40 Poland
“Israelis behave like Nazis towards the Palestinians”


85 81 Spain
“Interests of Jews in [country] differ from the rest of the population” 83 59 Poland

Where Have You Seen These Statements?

UK has the highest instances of antisemitism in political speech or discussion

  • 80% of the above respondents most frequently encountered these statements on the internet, 56% on all other media.
  • 92% of Polish respondents encountered these statements on the internet.
  • 66% of Belgian, Spanish and Dutch respondents on other media
  • 65% of Polish respondents at political events
  • 62% of Polish respondents in a public space
  • 58% of Spanish respondents in a social situation
  • 50% of UK respondents in a political speech or discussion
  • 38% of Spanish respondents in academia
  • 29% of Swedish respondents at cultural events
  • 28% of Italian respondents at sports events.

Is This Action or Opinion Antisemitic?

89% of Spanish respondents consider a boycott against Israel or Israelis to be antisemitic.

The following actions and opinions are believed to be antisemitic by the following percentages of respondents:

  • 94% believe it is antisemitic to consider Jews not to be a national of the country they live in (96% in France)
  • 82% believe a boycott against Israel and Israelis is antisemitic (89% in Spain)
  • 75% believe that those who think Jews have recognisable features are antisemitic (83% in Austria)
  • 59% consider those who would not marry a Jew to be antisemitic (82% in Hungary)
  • 55% consider those who always note who is Jewish among their acquaintances are antisemitic (72% in Hungary)
  • 38% consider those who criticise Israel to be antisemitic (62% in Spain)
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