Jonathan Greenblatt
Jonathan GreenblattCourtesy of the ADL

A new survey by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) found that most Americans are exposed to anti-Jewish and anti-Israel rhetoric from popular culture, politicians and social media.

“The Antisemitic Environment: How Social and Media Exposures Predict Antisemitic Beliefs” also found that friends or family appear to have a stronger influence on beliefs about Jews and Israel than other sources.

As a follow up to ADL’s January 2203 survey that found the highest percentage of respondents harboring extensive antisemitic prejudice in decades, the new report focused on the “environments where antisemitic and anti-Israel attitudes spread.” Researchers asked questions to uncover how frequently respondents heard antisemitic and anti-Israel views across a variety of political, religious, media and social sources.

“While Americans are bombarded with antisemitic and anti-Israel messaging all across our public discourse, families and friends have the biggest role in fueling this hate,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said. “This underscores a key component of ADL’s work: it is incredibly important that we continue to meet people where they are and be visible fighting hate in communities all over the country.”

Between one-fifth and one-third of those polled reported hearing anti-Jewish comments “often” or “sometimes” from the political, cultural and media sources. Respondents also reported hearing such comments much less frequently from family, friends and religious surroundings.

According to the survey, the most common sources of overheard antisemitic comments were from politicians (7 percent “often,” 22 percent “sometimes”); followed by TV, movies and popular culture (6 percent “often,” 20 percent “sometimes”); and social media (6 percent “often,” 19 percent “sometimes”).

Family was the least common source of antisemitic remarks. The poll found 78 percent of those polled “never” heard anti-Jewish comments from their family, and just 2 percent of people reported hearing anti-Jewish comments from family “often,” with another 6 percent indicating they heard comments from family “sometimes.”

But researchers found that the number of family and friends who like or dislike Jews was strongly correlated with an individual’s anti-Jewish attitudes. People who reported having more friends or family members who dislike Jews, believed, on average, significantly more anti-Jewish tropes.