Tuesday, 19 Nov 2019 - 21 of Heshvan, 5780
USA

New survey shows that nine out of every ten American Jews believe antisemitism is a problem in America

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The survey also shows that more than eight in ten say antisemitism has gotten worse over the past five years and nearly half of American Jewish young people say they have been victims of antisemitism.

‘’This survey makes clear that American Jews view antisemitism as a significant problem in America—and one that is getting worse, coming from the far right, the hard left, extremists claiming to act in the name of Islam, and movements that target the State of Israel,’’ said Avi Mayer, AJC Managing Director Global Communications.

NEW YORK—‘’Nine out of every ten American Jews believe antisemitism is a problem in America,’’ according to the findings of a  survey of American Jews conducted by the American Jewish Committee (AJC).

The survey was released on Wednesday, days before the first anniversary of the attack at the Tree of Life-Or L’Simcha  Synagogue in Pittsburgh in which eleven people were killed. The deadliest anti-Semitic attack in America’s history.

The survey also shows that more than eight in ten say antisemitism has gotten worse over the past five years and nearly half of American Jewish young people say they have been victims of antisemitism.

According to AJC, this survey is the largest and most comprehensive examination ever of American Jews’ experiences and perception of antisemitism.

‘’This survey makes clear that American Jews view antisemitism as a significant problem in America—and one that is getting worse, coming from the far right, the hard left, extremists claiming to act in the name of Islam, and movements that target the State of Israel,’’ said Avi Mayer, AJC Managing Director Global Communications.

While two comprehensive surveys of European Jews on anti-Semitism have been conducted in the past decade alone, no such studies of American Jews have been done for at least half a century
According to Avi Mayer, the ‘’alarming findings should serve as a wake-up call and a call to action.’’

Concern about anti-Semitism cuts across differences of age, politics and Jewish denomination. More than nine in 10 (93%) Democrats, 87% of independents and three-quarters of Republicans say anti-Semitism is a problem in America.

More than a third – 31 %- polled say they have personally been the targets of anti-Semitism, including nearly a quarter who say they’ve been recipients of anti-Semitic remarks in person, by mail or by phone; a fifth who say they’ve been targeted by anti-Semitic remarks online; and 2% who say they’ve been physically attacked for being Jewish.

Young people are significantly more likely to have been victims of anti-Semitism, with  45% of respondents ages 18-29 saying they have been targeted by anti-Semitic remarks or have been physically attacked for being Jewish.

Nnearly a third of American Jews say they have avoided publicly wearing, carrying or displaying things that might help people identify them as Jewish, while a quarter say they avoid certain places, events or situations out of concern for their safety or comfort as Jews at least some of the time.

Young people are most likely to have hidden their Jewishness in public, with nearly four in 10 of those ages 18-29 saying they have done so.

American Jews view efforts and statements against the state of Israel as being tainted by anti-Semitism. The statement that “Israel has no right to exist” (anti-Zionism) is viewed by 84% of respondents, including 78% of young people, as anti-Semitic.

80% say the same of the statement, “The U.S. government only supports Israel because of Jewish money,” and 73% say so about the statement, “American Jews are more loyal to Israel than to America.”

Of respondents who say they were familiar with the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) targeting Israel, only 14% say it isn’t anti-Semitic.Over a third characterize the BDS as mostly anti-Semitic, while just under half say it isn’t mostly anti-Semitic but has anti-Semitic supporters.

89% of American Jews believe the extreme political right represents a threat to Jews in the United States, while 85% say the same of extremism in the name of Islam and nearly two thirds—64%—say so about the extreme political left.

While Democrats and Republicans are each more likely to see threats to Jews on the other side of the political map, majorities of American Jews affiliated with both parties view the far right, the hard left and extremism in the name of Islam as anti-Semitic threats.

72% of American Jews disapprove of President Trump’s handling of the threat of antisemitism in America, compared to only 24% who approve. Respondents’ assessment of President Trump’s response to antisemitism varied vastly by their political affiliation, with 84% of Republicans expressing approval of the President’s response, compared to only 4% of Democrats.

81% of American Jews characterize U.S. law enforcement’s response to antisemitism as either very or somewhat effective, compared to only 15% who said the response is not too effective or not effective at all.

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