Reasons Behind Modern Spanish Antisemitism

Many Spaniards thought Spain had solved its “Jewish problem” in 1492, when by the stroke of a pen, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella ordered the expulsion of an estimated 800,000 Jews from the country, and thus put an end to the largest and most distinguished Jewish community in Europe.

But now, more than 500 years later, Spanish anti-Semitism is on the rise once again. According to a recent study published by the Pew Research Center, nearly half of all Spaniards have negative views of Jews, a statistic that marks Spain as one of the most anti-Semitic countries in Europe. According to Pew, 46 percent of Spaniards hold negative opinions of Jews, up more than double from the 21 percent of Spaniards with such views in 2005.

Spain is also the only country in Europe where negative views of Jews outweigh positive views;
Spain today has one of the smallest Jewish communities in Europe; the country has only 12,000 Jews out of a total Spanish population of 42 million, which works out to less than 0.05 percent.

pajamasmedia.com/blog/spains-jewish-problem/

What is the point that you’re trying to make and what kind of reply are you hoping to receive?

Well it is perhaps a vain attempt to examine rationally attitudes that are by their nature irrational, one still feels the need to find a underlying correlation. For example, if the root of such attitudes is that “the Jews” have a disproportional influence in a country’s society, it is more than ironic that countries like Spain and Norway, having minuscule Jewish populations are extremely antisemitic while the United States is not comparatively antisemitic. My question goes to the rationalizations given by people holding negative attitudes towards the Jews in countries like Spain.

Between the years 250 CE and 1948 CE - a period of 1,700 years - Jews have experienced more than eighty expulsions from various countries in Europe - an average of nearly one expulsion every twenty-one years. Jews were expelled from England, France, Austria, Germany, Lithuania, Spain, Portugal, Bohemia, Moravia and seventy-one other countries.
**Historians have classified six explanations as to why people hate the Jews: **[LIST=1]
*]Economic – “We hate Jews because they possess too much wealth and power.”
*]Chosen People – “We hate Jews because they arrogantly claim that they are the chosen people.”
*]Scapegoat – “Jews are a convenient group to single out and blame for our troubles.”
*]Deicide – “We hate Jews because they killed Jesus.”
*]Outsiders, – “We hate Jews because they are different than us.” (The dislike of the unlike.)
*]Racial Theory – “We hate Jews because they are an inferior race.” [/LIST]

History says it all…History just repeating itself…How sad:shrug:

I’d be suspicious of this survey. According to the article:

Spain is also the only country in Europe where negative views of Jews outweigh positive views; only 37 percent of Spaniards think favorably about Jews. By comparison, 36 percent of Poles have negative views of Jews while 50 percent have positive views; in Germany, 25 percent negative versus 64 percent positive; in France, 20 percent negative versus 79 percent positive; and in Britain, 9 percent positive versus 73 percent favorable. (According to Pew, 77 percent of Americans have favorable views toward Jews, compared with 7 percent unfavorable.)

First, 37% vs. 36% in any survey is insignificant, within the margin of error.
Second, actions speak louder than words, or survey results. France has had problems with attacks on Jews and defacing of synagogues. Germany has had a rise in nationalist and neo-Nazi groups in the former DDR.

As for Spain, whatever their current attitudes they saved tens of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust. Although Franco was nominally allied with Hitler Jews were provided refuge in Spain and Jewish relief agencies operated freely there, whence many went on to Cuba, Argentina or other countries – but not the US which closed it borders to them.

The poll has enormous swings in its numbers which the poll doesn’t explain. For example, in 20005 21% of Spaniards had unfavorable attitudes towards Jews. But the next year, the number doubles to 40%! That is quite a large change in a short period of time, which is reported without explanation.

I’m suspicious about the accuracy of the poll.

The greater question is this, Why do some groups/peoples/populations hate others? Jews are not alone in being hated by other groups. Consider the views of Japanese about Koreans, or the feelings of Koreans about Japanese; or how about Chinese and Japanese; or German attitudes about Slavic peoples; or the antipathies between Iraq and Iran, and the hatred many Africans have for the West. Within the past few days a Zimbabwean official claimed that the cholera in Zimbabwe was planted by the British who want to colonize the country again. Have you ever read memoirs of African students who have studied in Russia? In India the Hindus and Muslims despise each other. Until a few years ago Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland were trying to extend the Thirty Years War. Even in the United States some of the old north-south antipathies remain and many Indians have bad feelings about non-indians. It is almost as though most people need somebody to hate.

I don’t see that you’re “examining rationally” attitudes here. You’ve posted some statistics and offered little or no analysis.
What does “negative views” mean?
You now claim that Spain and Norway are “extremely antisemitic”, but where did the article say that?

Are you interested in the negative attitudes that people have about Catholics?

Reggie, I think CP is asking for our opinions. The article from PajamasMedia blamed Prime Minister Zapatero for the apparent increase in Spain’s anti-semitism. I didn’t find the article convincing, but then I haven’t been paying attention to Zapatero.

[quote=ReggieM]What does “negative views” mean?
[/quote]

Its a fair question. The Pew Global report which was mentioned in the PajamasMedia article doesn’t seem to say - it merely mentions increasing rates of "unfavorable attitudes."
pewglobal.org/reports/pdf/262.pdf

[quote=ReggieM]Are you interested in the negative attitudes that people have about Catholics?
[/quote]

Its not the topic of this thread, and certainly there have been many threads here at CAF which have discussed it. Did you wish to start a thread about negative attitudes towards Catholics?

The Pew Global report does note an interesting fact. In the countries of Western Europe, “unfavorable attitudes” towards Jews tend to occur more frequently among the older, the less educated and the more conservative. However, in Poland and Russia unfavorable attitudes towards Jews is more common among those who are less than 50 years old.

Ok, I didn’t understand what CP was looking for.

Its not the topic of this thread, and certainly there have been many threads here at CAF which have discussed it. Did you wish to start a thread about negative attitudes towards Catholics?

No, I was probing CP’s motive for posting this item.

My post was made without ulterior motives, without an agenda and without preconceived ideas. In the words of another Jew “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”

Why a rise in anti-Semitism? I would trace most of it to the policies of modern Israel. For the past 60-plus years Israel has been in the midst of perpetual conflict. While I support the existence of Israel - it’s too late not to - it has treated Palestinians with cruelty and disdain.

As one major example, why do the Israelis continue to build and expand settlements on the West Bank? They already have seized 70% of pre-1947 Palestine. But they persist in grabbing Palestinian land, building Israeli-only road throughout the West Bank, and in other ways oppressing the Palestinians.

I have no sympathy for Hamas, but note the killing of Palestinians in Gaza now. Hamas initially was encouraged by the Israelis as a counterweight to Arafat and Fatah. They sowed to the wind, and so they reaped the whirlwind - as the Bible warns.

I know there are wonderful Jews and include them among my close friends. They are a gifted people who contribute much to medicine, culture, etc. Many are ashamed of Israel’s iron-first policies, also. But until the Palestinians obtain justice, anti-Semitism will be on the rise.

Never went away.

I know there are wonderful Jews and include them among my close friends. They are a gifted people who contribute much to medicine, culture, etc.

Or, to quote Heinrich Himmler:

And then they come, 80 million worthy Germans, and each one has his decent Jew. Of course the others are vermin, but this one is an A-1 Jew.

Nope, antisemitism never went away.

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