Fear is still a Spanish acquisition

March 10, 2011

A major report on antisemitism about to be published in Spain makes for alarming reading.

The Observatory on Antisemitism in Spain will reveal that, according to a government-organised survey, almost 60 per cent of Spaniards believe "the Jewish people are powerful because they control the economy and the mass-media".

The survey showed that more than one third of the population have a generally unfavourable opinion of Jews. This figure was higher among university students and the centre-left than those on the extreme right.

While relatively few of those surveyed connected their antipathy towards the Jewish people to the conflict in the Middle East, the report used Natan Sharansky's "3D test" - demonisation, double standard, delegitimisation - to distinguish between antisemitic opinions and legitimate criticism of Israeli policy.

On the positive side, the report notes the increasing number of official Holocaust Memorial Day events, and points to inter-cultural seminars organised by Yad Vashem and Casa Sefarad-Israel for Spanish secondary school teachers. There are very few - approximately 40,000 - Jews in Spain, and it is likely that most of those surveyed had never even met a Jew.

    Last updated: 11:00am, March 14 2011