The recent Pew Global Attitudes Project survey found that almost no one in the Muslim Middle East has anything nice to say about Jews.
Researchers found that the percentage expressing “favorable views” about Jews was uniformly low: Egypt, 2 percent; Jordan, 2 percent; Pakistan, 2 percent; Lebanon, 3 percent; Palestine, 4 percent; Turkey, 4 percent.
Repeat until your conscience goes to sleep: there is no anti-Semitism, and if there is, it is all the fault of the Jews.
These poll results are bad news for two reasons. First, this is one more sign that peace between Israel and its neighbors is not at hand. Israelis read these polls, and the argument that Israel should take large risks for peace while surrounded by neighbors who hate Jews is less convincing than many would wish.
Second, widespread popular anti-Semitism is almost always a leading indicator of economic failure and autocratic rule. Anti-Semites think this is because “the Jews” use their hidden superpowers to block and frustrate the economic development of peoples brave enough to tell the truth about Jewish machinations and unwilling to prostrate themselves before the Elders of Zion.
More sober observers think it’s because anti-Semitism is usually associated with attitudes of bigotry, dogmatism and hostility to new ideas and different perspectives. Tolerance, openness to different ideas and a willingness to work with people from different religions and backgrounds are essential qualities for long term successful and democratic development in a capitalist world, and people who hate and fear Jews usually lack them.
There is one good piece of news in the poll. 48 percent of Israeli Muslims had favorable opinions of Jews; despite all the difficulties of the Arab minority in Israel, the Arabs who know the Jews best like them best and hate them least.