Nearly half of Britons question loyalty of Jews

A survey has found that nearly half of Britons think that Jews are more loyal to Israel" than their own country.

The research, conducted for the US hate monitor, the Anti-Defamation League, looked at antisemitic attitudes in ten European countries, and compared the findings to the results of a similar survey in 2009.

Whereas in 2009 only 37 per cent of British respondents deemed the suggestion that Jews were more loyal to Israel to be accurate, 48 per cent found it to be "probably true" this year.

Likewise, the 2012 survey showed that a fifth of Britons believed it was "probably true" that "Jews have too much power in the business world" and 22 per cent agreed that "Jews have too much power in international financial markets". Just 15 per cent of British respondents supported those statements when asked about them three years ago.

More British respondents this year than in 2009 – 24 per cent, up from 20 per cent - agreed that Jews "still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust".

The survey found equally worrying results in other European countries, including France, where antisemitism has been suggested as the motive for the murder of four people outside a Jewish school in Toulouse on Monday. The ADL said the overall level of antisemitism in France had jumped from 20 per cent to 24 per cent in the last three years.

The pollsters asked the same questions to 5,000 people across Europe. "The survey is disturbing by the fact that antisemitism remains at high levels across the continent and infects many Europeans at a much higher level than we see here in the United States," said Abraham Foxman, national director of the ADL. "In Hungary, Spain and Poland the numbers for antisemitic attitudes are off the charts, and demand a serious response from political, civic and religious leaders."

Last updated: 6:15pm, March 20 2012