Thursday, October 18, 2007

October, 1947 Gallup poll of German anti-semites

Another illuminating - and depressing - gem from the Palestine Post, October 20, 1947.

Two years after the fall of Nazism, only 2% of the German population could be said to be against racism. Of the group that was least biased, only 22% said that Jews should try to rebuild their lives in Germany.

While there is no doubt that there was a heavy amount of anti-semitism in Germany that predated Hitler, it is amazing that 12 years of incitement could make virtually an entire nation into racists (normally I wouldn't use the term, but the Germans themselves considered Jews to be a race.)

If twelve years of incitement was successful in creating an entire nation - 98% of the population - into bigots, try to imagine how impossible it would be to change Arab attitudes about Zionists and Jews after a century of daily, sustained incitement.

In 2006, a Pew poll showed that 44% of Germans still had unfavorable opinions of Jews - after sixty years of intense effort to undo the toxic effects of their bigotry. And the same poll found that 98% of Jordanians, and 97% of Egyptians, had the same unfavorable attitudes towards Jews.

The pure hatred that Arabs feel towards Israel and Jews, way out of proportion to anything Israel has ever done, simply cannot be erased or even effected by a "peace treaty" or "goodwill gestures." What needs to be done is a sea change in the Arab and Muslim worlds against this kind of hate, a sustained, multi-decade campaign teaching universal principles of responsibility and equality. Realistically, this will never happen, perhaps unless the Islamic world is utterly defeated militarily - and even then it would take another half century to see real results.