Holocaust fear still common in Israel

By Nathan Jeffay, April 19, 2012
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Two out of five Jewish Israelis believe that the Holocaust might happen again, according to a new poll.

The study also found concerns that Israel may be destroyed to be equally widespread.

Surprisingly, respondents thought these national dangers just as real as personal dangers that they face. Presented with the statement "my life is in danger", the rate of agreement was, again, two out of five.

Shaul Kimhi, who directed the study, believes that this perception can be explained because many respondents expressed "a not-rational fear that comes from a general anxiety".

Dr Kimhi, chair of the psychology department at Tel-Hai Academic College in the Galilee, said that the results were "the result of national trauma" and of living "in the shadow of the Holocaust". He elaborated: "People who grew up with such trauma in their background would tend to feel anxious that it could happen again."

While current threats such as Hamas actually pose danger to individual Israelis, they are perceived as threats to the whole nation due to the Holocaust's influence on the Israeli mindset, Dr Kimhi believes.

    Last updated: 4:46pm, April 19 2012