Italy antisemitism survey is 'disturbing'

By Benjamin Weinthal, November 3, 2011
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Italy's parliament has issued an eye-popping study on the level antisemitism in the country.

According to the report: "Some 44 per cent of the Italian population harbour some prejudice or have a hostile attitude towards Jews."

Italian MP Fiamma Nirenstein, chair of the Committee for the Inquiry into Antisemitism, said that the results were "very disturbing" and that it was a "shock for everybody how much antisemitism is present in Italy".

The study, which took place over two and a half years, divided those who are hostile or prejudiced towards Jews into four sub-groups. It said that the first group - 10 per cent - employ the "traditional" anti-Jewish stereotypes, such as "'Jews are not fully Italian.'"

The second category - 11 per cent of the population - view Jews as "rich and powerful" who "control and direct politics, the media and the banks", and "are more faithful to Israel than to the country of their birth". A third group - 12 per cent - says "all Jews use the Shoah to justify Israeli policy" and "Jews behave like Nazis with the Palestinians."

The fourth group are "pure antisemites" (12 per cent of Italians). The final category merges all of the previous elements of antisemitism.

Last updated: 2:22pm, November 3 2011