2/3 of Americans now believe Jews face discrimination in US

Pew survey shows massive increase in number of Americans who believe Jews face discrimination in the US.

David Rosenberg,

American Jews (illustrative)
American Jews (illustrative)
Thinkstock

Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe Jews face discrimination in the US, a new survey revealed recently, marking a significant increase over the past few years.

According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, the percentage of Americans who believe Jews in the US face discrimination shot up by 20 points between 2016 and 2019.

The survey was conducted between March 20th and 25th, and polled 1,503 American adults. Five months earlier, a lone gunman had opened fire on worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing 11 and wounding 6. The incident was the deadliest attack targeting Jews in US history.

Sixty-four percent of American adults in March 2019 said they believe that Jews face discrimination in the US, compared to just 44% who believed so in 2016.

The portion of Americans who believe Jews face significant discrimination also went up sharply, rising from 13% of Americans in 2016 to 24% in 2019 – a nearly 85% increase.

While the number of Americans who believe Jews face discrimination remains far lower than the number who believe Muslims, blacks, gays and lesbians, and Hispanics face discrimination, American Jews were the minority group with the largest increase in the portion of Americans who believe they suffer discrimination.

The number of Americans who believe Muslims face discrimination in the US remained stable from 2016 to 2019 at 82%, with the portion of respondents who say they suffer a great deal of discrimination declined slightly, from 57 to 56%. The portion of the population who believes blacks suffer discrimination went up by four points, from 76 to 80%, while the number who say gays and lesbians face discrimination went down slightly, from 76 to 75%.

Along with Jews, Evangelical Christians saw a significant increase in the portion of the population which believes they face discrimination, rising from 42 to 50%, with the portion of respondents who say they face significant discrimination rising from 15% to 19%.

The Pew study found a clear partisan gap in perceptions of discrimination, with self-identifying Republicans less likely than Democrats to view women, gays and lesbians, ethnic minorities, and non-Christian religious minorities as facing discrimination, while being more likely to perceive Evangelical Christians, whites, and men as being discriminated against.

Fifty-five percent of Republicans believe Jews face discrimination in the US, including 20% who say US Jews face “a lot” of discrimination. By comparison, 28% of Democrats say Jews face “a lot” of discrimination in the US, with a total of 70% who believe Jews face some degree of discrimination.

By contrast, only 32% of Democrats say Evangelicals face discrimination, compared to 70% of Republicans.

However, the number of respondents who believe Jews face discrimination went up significantly between 2016 and 2019 among both Republicans and Democrats. In 2016, just 9% of Republicans and 15% of Democrats said Jews were discriminated against, rising to 20% of Republicans and 28% of Democrats in 2019.




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