Are there too many Jews in France? Are they too rich and is the media dominated by them? These are some of the opinions sought by a Ipsos poll on racism in France. Published on Sunday in the French weekly Le Journal Du Dimanche, the survey results have caused a real stir.
The survey is the completion of an 18-month study on French attitudes to racism, religion, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
Fully 60 percent of respondents believe that Jews bear at least some responsibility for recent rises in anti-Semitism. This is at a time when France as a whole is still struggling to come to terms with the impact of major terror attacks and the Jewish community is increasingly anxious following a series of targeted attacks. Indeed, the results of the poll, commissioned by the French Judaism Foundation, paint a picture of prejudice, suspicion and division.
To the question “Do you think a racist reaction can be justified”, 30 percent said yes, some 91 percent of people said that Jews in France “are very insular” and 56 percent that they “have a lot of power” and are richer than average.
Nearly a quarter (23 percent) said they had witnessed violence or aggressive behaviour towards someone because of their religion, while 54 percent believe that immigration does not benefit France.
The study also suggests more than 40% feel that Jews are “a little too present in the media.” While about 13% agreed that “there are a few too many Jews in France.” These findings perhaps help to explain another recent poll by the Institut Français D’opinion Publique, which suggested the number of French Jews considering moving to Israel at 43% percent.
Anti-Semitism and a worsening economy have driven many French Jews to seek their fortunes abroad, with significant communities forming in Quebec, Montreal, London and other cities.
Indeed, in May 2015 AntiSemitismWatch reported that the number who emigrated from France into Israel doubled in 2014 to 7,000, making it the top source country.