Antisemitism is on the Rise, Yet Europeans Are Divided on Its Source – New Survey

Antisemitism is on the Rise, Yet Europeans Are Divided on Its Source – New Survey
1st May 2024 Moriah Aharon

The highlights of the new HU-EF Barometer 2024 on mutual perceptions towards the Holocaust Day shed light on the persistent issue of antisemitism across Europe, revealing concerning trends and perceptions. In France and Germany, a significant majority recognizes antisemitism as a current problem, with figures of 63% and 59% respectively, followed by Great Britain at 48% and Poland at 30%. The perceived sources of this bigotry vary, with German respondents pointing to both the far right and Muslim migrants, while British and French respondents predominantly blame the latter. Only a small minority disagreed with the statement that “Jews [in each respective country] are loyal to Israel first. Disturbingly, a notable portion of respondents in Poland and Germany have never encountered a Jew or Israeli personally, highlighting a potential disconnect. This survey underscores the complexity and urgency of addressing antisemitism in contemporary Europe.

The 2024 HU-EF Barometer, spearheaded by Prof. Gisela Dachs from the European Forum at the Hebrew University, conducted a comprehensive survey on mutual perceptions between Israel and several European countries, including Germany, Great Britain, France, and Poland.


Antisemitism Perception: France (63%) and Germany (59%) perceive antisemitism as a significant issue, followed by Great Britain (48%) and Poland (30%).

Antisemitism is currently a problem in your country (%)

Loyalty Perception: In all four countries, only a small minority disagreed with the statement that “Jews [in each respective country] are loyal to Israel first.” The majority neither agreed nor disagreed, while more than a third affirmed the statement.

Jews are loyal to Israel first (%)

Threat Sources: When examining the sources of Antisemitism, opinions on the sources vary among and within different European populations. German respondents identify the far right (48%) and Muslim migrants (45%) as primary contributors. In Britain, 39% expressed uncertainty, while 25% attributed it to Muslim migrants. French respondents largely attribute it to Muslim migrants (31%), with 26% either uncertain or attributing it to the general population. In Poland, 31% implicate the far right, 27% are uncertain, and 26% identify Muslim immigrants as the source.

From where do you currently see the main threat of Antisemitism emanating? (%, among those who agreed that antisemitism is a problem)

• Responders could reply more than one answer

Lack of Personal Interaction: 59% of Polish and 41% of German respondents have never met a Jew or Israeli, with older Germans (47%) and younger Poles (63%) comprising the majority.

Israeli Responses

Future Outlook: 70% of Jewish Israelis anticipate a worsening situation for European Jews, up from 53% in 2022, with pessimism increasing with age.

France’s Antisemitism Ranking: France is perceived as the most antisemitic country among Israeli Jews (63%) and Israeli Arabs (55%).

German Responses
National Interest – 45% of the respondents think that Israel´s existence is part of Germany´s national interest, but only 22% agree with their current government´s support of Israel in its military operation in Gaza.

The perception of Germany towards Israel (% among German responders)

“The secure existence of Israel is part of Germany’s national interest today” then Chancellor Angela Merkel, said in 2008 – do you agree?

Approval of the German government’s support of Israel in its military operation in Gaza (%)

French Responses

France’s Historical Reflection: Half of French respondents believe their country has reconciled with its Vichy past, contrasting with 36% who disagree.
Think that France has managed to come to terms with its Vichy-past (% Among French responders)

Polish Responses

Holocaust Perception: 60% of Polish respondents view Poles as victims and saviors during the Holocaust, whereas a majority of Israeli respondents hold them accountable, similar to Germans.

Poland’s “role” during the Holocaust (%, Polish Respondents)

Are the Polish people responsible for their Jewish neighbors being destroyed in the Holocaust? (%, Israeli respondants)

Conditions for Israeli Youth Visits: Polish respondents prefer Israeli youth visits with Polish guides, while in Israel, a majority agree but with Israeli guides in charge, favored by one-third.

The survey was prepared by Prof. Gisela Dachs from the Hebrew University. It was conducted in Israel, Germany, United Kingdom, France and Poland via the internet between February-March 2024 with a total of 1,000 men and women from each country constituting a nationally representative sample of the adult population aged 18 and over. The maximum sampling error was 3.1% at a confidence level of 95%. The online surveys were carried out by Kantar.

Prof. Gisela Dachs is from the DAAD Center for German Studies Center and the European Forum at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


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