Holocaust deniers can cause the Jewish community great distress but a recent study found that most Maltese do not consider this a problem on the island.
An EU-wide survey found that just six per cent of Maltese people consider holocaust denial an issue here. In fact, the Maltese were the least likely citizens of a European member state to think that anti-Semitism in general was a problem in their country.
Only 13 per cent of Maltese respondents said this was an issue online and on social media and just four per cent said this appeared in the form of any graffiti in public spaces. Similarly, eight per cent said they had ever witnessed any expression of hostility towards the Jewish community.
Anti-Semitism was not an issue in Maltese schools, universities, workplaces or political life. Nor was it a cause for concern in the media, the survey found.
Anti-Semitism was not a cause for concern in the media
By way of contrast, 80 per cent of French respondents said this was a problem in their community and three in four admitted they experienced the problem on social media.
According to the survey’s findings, 15-to-24-year -olds were more likely to believe that anti-Semitism on the internet, including online social networks, was a problem but slightly less are likely to think the same about “desecration of Jewish cemeteries”.
While Malta was not a hostile place towards the Jewish faith and culture, it was also not informed about it. In fact, Maltese respondents were the most likely to say they were well informed about their customs and traditions – just five per cent had a good grasp.
And the Maltese were the most likely to complain, when asked, about not being taught enough about the Jewish religion and culture at school.
The bulk of the respondents, 44 per cent, also did not know about the laws prohibiting discrimination on grounds of religious beliefs either.
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