Most Argentineans believe members of the country’s Jewish community are
primarily interested in making money and are more loyal to Israel than their
country of birth, according to a study published last week.
conducted by the Gino Germani Research Institute of the University of Buenos
Aires on behalf of the Anti-Defamation League and Delegacion de Asociaciones
Israelitas Argentinas (DAIA), quizzed 1,510 locals on their attitudes toward
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According to the findings, 82 percent of those surveyed believe
Jews are preoccupied with making money; 49% said they “talk too much about what
happened to them in the Holocaust,” and 68% believe they “have too much power in
the business world.”
“For some time we have realized that analyzing the
anti-Semitic incidents reported to us from across the country are one measure of
anti-Semitism, but we needed to delve deeper and to look at the root of the
problem,” said Fabian Galante, secretary general of the DAIA.
questions developed by the ADL in its landmark surveys of anti-Semitism in the
United States and in Europe, we were able to better understand how anti-Semitic
attitudes help foster prejudice and spur violence in society.”
200,000 Jews live in Argentina, constituting the largest Jewish community in
Latin America. The survey also examined prejudices against Jews ingrained in
Catholic countries. For instance, 22% said Jews killed Jesus. Another question
gauged people’s attitudes toward other minorities, finding that some 30% would
rather not live next to Bolivians.
“The survey shows that anti- Semitic
attitudes are deeply ingrained in Argentina,” said Abraham Foxman, national
director of the ADL. “It is disturbing that such a large portion of the
Argentinean population buys into classical anti- Semitic stereotypes. The
notions that Jews have too much power in business, are too concerned with making
money, or are not loyal to their country are traditional anti-Semitic motifs
that have contributed to centuries of persecution against the Jewish
Since being published, the findings have been widely debated in
the South American country’s press.
In an editorial published in La
– the country’s most widely-read broadsheet – just before Yom Kippur, the
newspaper lamented the respondents’ attitude toward Jews, saying the Jewish
holiday was an appropriate time to appreciate the contributions made by Jewish
“It is an excellent opportunity to remember all the good
that this great community has brought to our country almost from the very first
day of its establishment,” the editorial argued.