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Survey Finds Quarter of World Holds Anti-Semitic Views

FILE - Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, a U.S. group that fights racism and anti-Semitism, delivers his speech after he was awarded with the medal of Knight in the Legion of Honor order by French President Jacques Chirac du
A new survey has concluded that about a quarter of the world's population -- more than a billion people -- holds anti-Semitic views.

The New York-based Anti-Defamation League said Tuesday that it polled more than 53,000 people in 102 countries and territories over the last year, asking them whether they felt that 11 negative stereotypes about Jews were probably true or false, or did not know. The survey defined someone as anti-Semitic if that person agreed with six or more of the statements.

Among the stereotypes cited in the survey were "Jews are more loyal to Israel than [their home] country," "Jews have too much power in the business world" and "Jews are responsible for most wars in the world."

The survey found the highest concentration of anti-Semitism in the Middle East and North Africa, with 74 percent of those polled agreeing with a majority of the anti-Semitic stereotypes. By contrast, the anti-Semitism figure was 34 percent in eastern Europe, 24 percent in western Europe, 23 percent in sub-Saharan Africa, 22 percent in Asia, 19 percent in the Americas and 14 percent in Oceania.

The polling found that only 54 percent of the people surveyed had heard of the Holocaust in which 6 million Jews were exterminated by the Nazis during World War II. Those surveyed also often significantly overestimated the number of Jews in the world, while the actual figure is less than one-fifth of 1 percent.

The Anti-Defamation League's national director, Abraham Foxman, said the prevalence of anti-Semitism is "maybe not shocking, but it's sobering."