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May 22, 2014

Coverage Of The ADL Global 100 Poll In The Arab Media

The newly released ADL Global 100: An Index of Anti-Semitism yielded a large amount of data regarding disturbingly high levels of anti-Semitic attitudes across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The highest numbers in MENA were found in the West Bank and Gaza Strip at 93%, while Iran ranked lowest, with 56% of the population holding anti-Semitic attitudes.adl-global100

The ADL survey generated widespread coverage in local and regional Arabic language press, both in print and online news items and opinion pieces. The focus was almost entirely on the poll’s MENA results, and while most articles only reported the factual data, a small number did include criticism of the poll’s findings. 

The following are examples of the Arab media’s coverage of the poll:

Conflating Israelis with Jews:

Referring to the poll as indicative of attitudes towards “Israelis” rather than “Jews,” the following headline appeared on the Egyptian news website Vetogate: “Public Opinion Poll: 26% of the World’s Population Hate Israel.”

Arab scholars present their own analyses:

  1. Professor Ali S. Asani of Harvard University was quoted in the Jordanian Al-Arab al-Yawm saying that the results demonstrating high levels of anti-Semitism among Arabs and low levels among Western Europeans represent a historic role reversal. Europe was traditionally a hostile place for Jews, while Arab and Muslim countries were generally considered secure.
  2. Hussein Ibish, a Senior Fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine based in Washington, DC, argued that the West Bank and Gaza results were skewed due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He was quoted in an article published the Dubai-based Al-Arabiyawebsite: “The worst results are among the Palestinians. They answered the questions related to the Jewish power and control through (the prism of) their experience of occupation. This is, for example, different from asking the American public such questions. The Palestinians don’t see the Jews only as an ethnic or religious group, but see them through their experience with the occupation army.”

Identifying ADL as an Israeli organization:

Instead of referring to ADL as a Jewish-American organization, a small number of Arabic news outlets, including the Yemenite Nashwan newspaper, stated that the poll was conducted by an Israeli organization.

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