Blue Flower

ONE QUARTER OF THE WORLD HARBORS ANTI-SEMITIC SENTIMENT

The first-ever global study of anti-Semitic attitudes shows that more than a quarter of the world’s population harbors intense anti-Jewish sentiment, with region, more than religion, shaping people’s view of Jews and Judaism. The poll, released by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League, also finds that a large proportion of the world has never heard of the Holocaust or denies historical accounts of it. Of those polled, 46 percent have either not heard of the Holocaust that killed 6 million Jews or think it is a myth or exaggerated. “For the first time we have a real sense of how pervasive and persistent anti-Semitism is today around the world,” said Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

He called the results of the Global 100 Index “sobering but not surprising” and said it would serve as a baseline for the ADL to understand where anti-Semitism is most prevalent and where education is most necessary. The results of the survey of 102 nations and territories revealed stark regional differences, and hotspots of anti-Semitism around the globe. The survey found that the least anti-Semitic place in the world is Laos, where anti-Semitic beliefs are held by just 0.2 percent of the population. The most anti-Semitic place is in Israel’s backyard, the West Bank and Gaza, where 93 percent of people held anti-Semitic beliefs.

The 10 most anti-Semitic countries and territories, according to the survey, are the West Bank and Gaza, Iraq, Yemen, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan and Morocco. The 10 least anti-Semitic countries, surveyors found, are Laos, the Philippines, Sweden, the Netherlands, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, the United States, Denmark, Tanzania and Thailand. In the U.S., 9 percent of those surveyed revealed anti-Semitic views. The poll is based on 11 questions that refer to common stereotypes about Jews, such as “Jews have too much power in international financial markets” and “Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars.” Those who answered “probably true” to six or more questions were deemed to be anti-Semitic.

Overall, 28 percent of respondents answered “no” to all 11 stereotypes presented of Jews when asked if they were true. Asked if a person could still be considered anti-Semitic for affirming only three anti-Semitic stereotypes, Foxman said the ADL purposely set the bar for anti-Semitism very high, so as to make its results conservative. The ADL found that much of the world greatly overestimates the global Jewish population: Nearly half the respondents (48 percent) believe that Jews account for more than 1 percent of the population, and nearly one in five (18 percent) believe they make up 10 percent. In reality, Jews account for 0.19 percent of the world’s people.

Though the survey found Muslims to harbor more anti-Semitic views than Christians, Hindus and Buddhists — and Protestants fared better in the survey than Catholics — a person’s region seemed to correlate more strongly with views on Jews than did a person’s religion. Among Muslims, nearly half (49 percent) were found to hold anti-Semitic views. But across the Muslim-majority Middle East and North Africa, 75 percent of Muslims held anti-Semitic views. Muslims outside of the Middle East and North Africa showed lower levels of anti-Semitic attitudes; 64 percent of Christians in the Middle East and North Africa held anti-Semitic views, compared with 24 percent of Christians overall.

Regionally, 74 percent of all respondents in the Middle East and North Africa held anti-Semitic attitudes. That compares with 23 percent of all people in sub-Saharan Africa, 22 percent in Asia, 19 percent in the Americas and 14 percent in Oceania, the region with the lowest anti-Semitic scores in the world. The survey shows that Greece, at 69 percent, has the highest levels of anti-Semitic attitudes of any country outside the Middle East, a proportion far higher than the Western European average of 24 percent.  Already, Foxman said, “the prime minister of Greece had learned of our findings and requested that we come and visit.”

A surprisingly large majority of respondents (74 percent) said they had never met a Jew, and of those, one in four displayed anti-Semitic attitudes. Of the 26 percent of people worldwide who harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, 70 percent said they had never met a Jewish person, the survey showed. Survey researchers polled more than 53,000 adults in 96 languages. The study has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points for most countries. The survey was funded by a grant from New York philanthropist Leonard Stern. Foxman said the survey cost “a lot” but declined to disclose the exact cost.

Source: Religion News Service

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FRANCE WILL BE A FAILED REPUBLIC IF JEWS FLEE SAYS FRENCH PRIME MINISTER

If Jews flee from France in the wake of anti-Semitic terror, the French Republic will be judged a failure and "France will no longer be France," French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said. Valls claims that if French Jews were to flee in large numbers, the soul of the French Republic would be at risk. "The choice was made by the French Revolution in 1789 to recognize Jews as full citizens. To understand France, you have to understand the central role played by the emancipation of the Jews. If 100,000 French people of Spanish origin were to leave, I would never say that France is not France anymore. But if 100,000 Jews leave, France will no longer be France and the French Republic will be judged a failure," Valls asserted.

Valls is an outspoken voice in defence of Jews. "There is a new anti-Semitism in France," he said. "We have the old anti-Semitism that comes from the extreme right, but this new anti-Semitism comes from immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa, who have turned anger about Gaza into something very dangerous. Israel and Palestine are just a pretext. There is something more profound taking place now." There is radical criticism of the very existence of Israel now, which is anti-Semitic, Valls explained. There is an incontestable link between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Behind anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.

Valls believes that French Jewry still has a future in his country. "The Jews of France are profoundly attached to France but they need reassurance that they are welcome and secure here," he said. "The government cannot protect every Jewish person or institution," Valls acknowledged. "There's always more to do, but they can't do everything. Even if they did all that needs to be done; counter-radicalization, education, making sure that imprisoned people don't become radicalized, and so on—there's always more to do. We have a very, very profound problem." Valls may hope that Jews should stay in France, but Israeli leaders believe that they belong in Israel.

Speaking to the Times of Israel (TOI) after the recent Charlie Hebdo massacre, Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky said that he expects 10,000 French Jews to make aliyah (immigration to Israel) in 2015 and 250,000 over the next 20 years. "This particular tragedy is a very tragic and powerful reminder for Europe that time is running out for them." Sharansky told TOI. "If France and the other Western nations will not fight quickly and strongly to re-establish the civilization of liberal nations, Europe is in danger. The exodus of Jews, as many times in the past, is the first harbinger, a warning of where it goes.

To all French Jews, and to all European Jews, I would like to say: The State of Israel is not just the place to which you turn in prayer. The State of Israel is also your home," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated after the terror attack at the Kosher store. "A special team of ministers will soon convene to advance steps to increase immigration from France and other countries in Europe that are suffering from terrible anti-Semitism. All Jews who want to immigrate to Israel will be welcomed here warmly and with open arms. We will help you in your absorption here in our state that is also your state."

Hundreds of French Jews attended an aliyah information fair after the terror attacks. “Organisers sought to help provide for the physical security of Jewish communities across France, increasing assistance to any individual who wished to immigrate to Israel, and working to ease immigrants' integration into the Israeli workforce and society," said Natan Sharansky, chairman of the organising agency. 2014 "saw a dramatic increase in aliyah from France with the arrival of 7,000 new immigrants, more than double the 3,400 who arrived in 2013 and triple the 1,900 who came in 2012." The French Jewish community is the largest in Europe and the third-largest in the world (after Israel and the USA), with some 500,000 Jews.

Source: United with Israel

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SETTING THE STAGE FOR CHRIST'S RETURN

We may well be living in the generation to witness Jesus' return, a pastor from Singapore told a conference in Jerusalem where Arab Christians and Jewish followers of Jesus have been embracing one another in love and unity. Addressing a gathering at Christ Church, within the walls of the Old City, Dr. George Annadorai spoke of the convergence of highways from the East, all the way to China and Japan, from whence the last major move of God would sweep all before it on the way back to Jerusalem. The ancient religions of the world had all originated in the East, representing most of the world's population (five billion people) and where idol worship now predominates, whereas ideology had become the god of the West.

Annadorai said Israel has an association with the East going back 3,000 years to the time of King Solomon, for which there is strong evidence—and the Solomon Islands is just one example. Ezekiel talks of the glory of God coming from the East in advance of the Messiah's return (chapter 43) and of course the wise men came from the East. Citing the 'Back to Jerusalem' movement of Chinese Christians taking the message of Jesus back to where it all began, he said this was good, but God would not allow them to do it on their own. "No one person is allowed to carry the ark (representing the presence of God)," he said.

Source: Israel News

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