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CROSSROADS21: Survey finds low level of antisemitism in Australian society

Michael Visontay
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MICHAEL VISONTAY: A large majority of Australians have a positive attitude to Jewish people, and came out strongly against negative stereotypes

CONTRARY TO THE SIGNALS sent by media reports, the level of anti-Semitism in Australian society is low, according to the findings of the Crossroads21 survey conducted by The Jewish Independent.

“A large majority of respondents indicate a positive attitude to Jewish Australians,” said Emeritus Professor Markus, in his analysis of the findings.

“This is most evident in response to the proposition that ‘I am just as open to having Jewish friends as I am to having friends from other sections of Australian society’, Professor Markus explained.

“A total of 65% of respondents indicated that they ‘definitely’ agreed, 27% agreed, a total of 92%, while only 8% disagreed.”

The Jewish Independent

In addition to the question about openness to friendship with Jewish people, respondents were presented with six stereotypical statements about Jewish behaviour.

These statements were:

  1. Jewish people talk about the Holocaust just to further their political agenda
  2. Jewish people can be trusted just as much as other Australian people in business
  3. Jewish people consider themselves to be better than other Australian people
  4. Compared to other groups, Jewish people have too much power in the media
  5. Having a connection to Israel makes Jewish people less loyal to Australia than other Australian people
  6. Australian Jewish people chase money more than other Australian people

For the first five of these questions, the proportion indicating a strongly negative attitude was in the range 2%-5%, the next (lower) level of negative attitude in the range 11%-15%; and when combined, it was in the range of 13%-20%.

The Jewish Independent

The outlier in terms of agreement with a prejudicial statement was obtained for the sixth statement. For this proposition, 5% indicated that the proposition was ‘definitely true, 22% that it was ‘probably true’, a combined 27%, while a large majority of 71% indicated that it was ‘probably not true’ or ‘definitely not true.’

Professor Markus noted that in terms of political allegiance, the strongest rejection of stereotypical statements about anti-Semitism was by Greens voters, rather than Coalition or Labor.

The average for Greens voters was 90%, with Labor voters 81%, Coalition 80% and minor parties 71%, a finding which would indicate that Greens voters do not conflate their party’s outspoken criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.

Other noteworthy findings related to Australians’ estimation of the Jewish population in Australia, and knowledge of the Holocaust.

The Jewish Independent

With regard to the Jewish population, the survey found that more than four-in-five respondents over-estimated the size of the Jewish population, with 40% indicating that it was over 5% of the population, when the actual proportion is 0.4%.

With reference to knowledge of the Holocaust, close to one-in-five indicated that they ‘knew a great deal’, 45% that they knew ‘something’, while 30% knew ‘little’ or ‘virtually nothing.’

The Jewish Independent


Join Emeritus Professor Andrew Markus and commentator/journalist Julie Szego as they analyse the key findings for attitudes to Jewish people, anti-Semitism and the banning of the swastika – this Sunday 9 May 7:30pm-8:30pm AEST.

Attendance is free but you must register here.


What do you make of these results? We’d like to hear your response; a selection of reader comments will be published later in the week.

Email your feedback to editor@thejewishindependent.com.au

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