On the eve of the 2016 US elections, I got to talking with a Jew at one of the futurist meetups who was hyperventilating about the prospect of Trump winning. He unironically thought there was a risk of actual deportations of immigrants to concentration camps and pogroms against Jews. Typical Trump Derangement Syndrome sufferer, who cares, they were and remain a dime a dozen. Curious thing is, though, he was also looking to pursue Polish citizenship, from where his family had originally emigrated, and which he now considered a safe harbor against the rising tide of anti-Semitism in America promoted by the Putlerreich.
Well, did I have news for him, even if he did insist it was “fake.”
In 2014-15, the ADL carried out a large survey of “anti-Semitic attitudes” around the world, in which 26% of the global population were found to be anti-Semites (translation: Believed in 6+/11 of popular stereotypes about Jews).
This figure was 30% in Russia, falling to 23% in the follow-up survey in 2015 – which was slightly higher than the 24% average for Western Europe, but lower than the 34% for Eastern Europe (45% in Poland) and far lower than the 74% average for the Middle East.
This gap between Russia and the rest of Eastern Europe is even more marked with respect to 18-34 year olds.
Moreover, even if Russians are slightly more likely than Western Europeans to think statements such as “Jews have too much power in the business world” are true – all things considered, it is amazing the figure is not much higher, given the ethnic composition of the oligarchs – they are certainly not the sort to engage in sanctimonious lectures. Heck, possibly the biggest Russia-based critic of Israel on account of them being mean to Palestinians is a guy called… Israel.
Approval of Israel in Russia and most of Eastern Europe is substantially higher than in Western Europe, especially its more “progressive” countries.
Of course these sentiments are very much a one-way street. One could view it as an admittedly much less extreme version of American evangelicals’ unreciprocated love for Jews and especially Israel.