Thirty-five per cent of those polled by the Ipso research institute said Jews "should stop playing the victim for ... persecutions of 50 years ago".

The poll also revealed that 46% of those asked feel Jews in their countries have a "mentality and lifestyle" different to that of other citizens. 

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera commissioned the poll which was conducted in Italy, France, Belgium, Austria, Spain, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, and Britain.

Middle East Conflict  

POLL FINDINGS

- 35% said Jews should stop "playing the victim" for the Holocaust

- 46% believe Jews are different

- 40.5% believe Jews have "a particular relationship with money"

It was released a day before many European countries mark a day of remembrance for Holocaust victims.

About 40.5% said Jews in their country had "a particular relationship with money", nearly 18% said they felt Judaism was "intolerant", and almost 17% did not consider Jews "real" compatriots.

The poll suggested the attitude of Europeans towards Jews was linked to criticism of Israel over the Middle East conflict.

More than 71% of those polled said Israel should leave the occupied territories and Palestinians should stop attacking Israeli targets.

Anti-Semitism 

And 68% said they believed Israel had a right to exist, and the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was"making the wrong choices".

Jewish leaders have expressed concern over the poll's findings.

"Obviously the virus of anti-Semitism is far more resilient and determined than we might have thought in the past," said Rabbi David Rosen, of the American Jewish Committee.

Rosen, who is based in Israel, said he believed the rise in anti-Semitism was due to the half-century that had passed since the horrors of the last world war.

"The moral implications of anti-Semitism simply don't speak to a younger generation of Europeans"

Rabbi David Rosen,
The American Jewish Committee

Holocaust survey

"The moral implications of anti-Semitism simply don't speak to a younger generation of Europeans," he said.

"What's more amazing than the percentage of people who hold those opinions is the percentage of people willing to express them."

The poll findings come a few days after a survey found more than one in seven British people believe the scale of the Holocaust has been exaggerated.

The Jewish Chronicle survey also showed nearly 20% of those questioned believe a Jewish prime minister of Britain would be less acceptable than a member of any other faith. 

Another recent survey for the European Union found most people on the continent identified Israel as the biggest threat to world peace.