A third of Spaniards have 'unfavourable' view of Jews: poll

8th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

About one third of Spaniards have a negative opinion of Jews, largely due to the Mideast conflict, according to a poll released Wednesday, a level Spain's foreign minister deplored as "unacceptable".

The "Study on anti-Semitism in Spain" by the DYM Institute said 34.6 percent of Spaniards had an "unfavourable opinion" of Jews compared to 48 percent who said they had a "favourable opinion".

It blamed the prejudice on an "incorrect association" of the Jewish people with Israeli policies.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict had "a negative impact on Israel's image in Spain and, hence, the collective image of Jews," and was the "most cited" reason for the negative opinion, it said.

The DYM telephone poll of 1,012 people was taken in April.

The findings were presented at a news conference given by Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos and David Ojeda, the head of Casa-Sefarad Israel, an institute founded by the Spanish government to promote closer ties between Spain and Israel.

Moratinos said the poll shows that "Spanish public opinion is neither anti-Semitic nor anti-Israeli".

But he said "anti-Semitic prejudices are still present in our society to a totally unacceptable degree" and this is "particularly worrying given the limited size of the Jewish community in Spain".

He also noted that if the study had been taken after Israel's deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla on May 31, "the results for Israel and the Jews would have been more negative".

© 2010 AFP

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