ADL Survey: Anti-Semitic Attitudes Escalate in United States

Thursday, 03 Nov 2011 05:47 PM

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Anti-Semitic attitudes have risen in the United States, with 15 percent holding deeply anti-Semitic views, according to a nationwide survey from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The 15 percent represents a 3-point rise from a 2009 poll and matches the levels of anti-Semitic feelings found in 2005 and 2007. In the past decade, the highest level of anti-Semitic attitudes was reported in 2002, when an ADL poll found 17 percent of Americans harbored anti-Jewish attitudes.

"The fact that anti-Semitic attitudes have increased significantly over the past two years is troubling and raises questions about the impact of broader trends in America — financial insecurity, social uncertainty, the decline in civility and the growth of polarization — on attitudes toward Jews," said Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s national director.

"It is disturbing that with all of the strides we have made in becoming a more tolerant society, anti-Semitic beliefs continue to hold a vice grip on a small but not insubstantial segment of the American public."

The telephone survey of 1,754 adults from Oct. 13-23 also found that 19 percent of Americans answered "probably true" to the statement that "Jews have too much control/influence on Wall Street."

"The stereotypes about Jews and money endure, and the fact that more Americans are now accepting these statements about Jews as true suggests that the downturn in the economy, along with the changing demographics of our society, may have contributed to the rise in anti-Semitic sentiments," Foxman said. "Once again the old anti-Semitic standbys about Jewish loyalty, the death of Jesus and Jewish power remain strong."

Additional findings include:
  • 14 percent agreed with the statement that "Jews have too much power in the U.S. today."
  • 15 percent agreed that Jews are "more willing to use shady practices."
  • 16 percent agreed that Jewish "business people are so shrewd, others don’t have a chance.”
  • 30 percent believe that Jews are "more loyal to Israel than to America.”
  • 31 percent agreed with the statement that "Jews were responsible for the death of Christ."

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