Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mazel Tov Laos

Whatever they're doing in Vientiane to combat antisemitism, the rest of the world needs to take notice.

According to a poll just released by the Anti-Defamation League, 26% of the world's adults harbor some form of anti-semitic attitude. From the article:
The highest concentration of anti-Semitic attitudes was found in the Middle East and North Africa, the survey showed, led by the West Bank and Gaza, where 93 percent of respondents held such views, followed by Iraq at 92 percent, Yemen at 88 percent and Algeria at 87 percent. The areas where anti-Semitic attitudes were least prevalent were Oceania, the Americas and Asia.
I can't say that I'm surprised by the findings or the fact that most of the hatred seems to come from areas where there are conflicts between Jews and other populations. But then comes this:
In Laos, less than 1 percent of the population held such views, the lowest anywhere, the survey said.
What is the Laotian secret? Is it that they remember the horrors of the Vietnam War and the Cambodian genocide that followed and are making sure that ethnic hatred is banished from the country? Do they have an especially tolerant attitude towards their Jewish population (I couldn't find the Laotian Jewish population, but approximately 300 Jews live in neighboring Vietnam)? What programs are they teaching in schools that are so effective that only 0.02% of the population is anti-semitic? We need to find out and copy it immediatley.

In the meantime, thank you Laos for being a beacon of openness.

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