AJC presents special 'State of Antisemitism in America' report

AJC's report "shows deep anxiety among US Jews & lack of awareness among general public about severity of antisemitism in the US"

Yoni Kempinski ,

American and Israeli flags
American and Israeli flags
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The American Jewish Committee (AJC) released its first-ever State of Antisemitism in America report.

According to AJC, the report "shows deep anxiety among American Jews and a disturbing lack of awareness among the general public about the severity of antisemitism in the United States".

"Parallel surveys of American Jews and the U.S. general public reveal widely divergent views regarding Jew-hatred in America", they added.

While 53% of U.S. adults say they are familiar with the term antisemitism and know what it means, nearly half of Americans do not, with 21% saying they have never heard the word and 25% saying that, while they have heard it, they are unsure what it means, AJC found in its new national survey.

The AJC study, released on the eve of the second anniversary of the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh, when 11 worshippers were killed, is based on parallel surveys of American Jews and the general public in the United States.

The Jewish survey is the second annual comprehensive poll of American Jews on their perceptions and experiences of antisemitism in the United States. The survey of the general public is the first conducted by AJC on the subject.

“What American Jews and the general public are saying in these surveys, for us, is a clarion call for a stepped-up, multi-pronged response to rising antisemitism in the United States,” said AJC CEO David Harris. “That nearly half of the American population does not even seem to know what antisemitism is can only increase American Jews’ concern about their own security and well-being.”

Due to the fact that some of the questions related to US politics, AJC emphasized that the organization is non-partisan and that they neither support nor endorse candidates for elective office.

The following is the full comparison of the State of Antisemitism in America surveys:

The general public was asked: How familiar are you with the term antisemitism?

53% - Familiar

46% - Not familiar

How much of a problem, if at all, do you think antisemitism is in the United States today?
American Jews

American Jews:

88% - A Problem

11% - Not a Problem

General Public

62% - A Problem

33% - Not a Problem

Over the past five years, do you think antisemitism in the United States has…

American Jews:

82% - Increased

3% - Increased

General Public

43% - Increased

39% - Stayed the same

14% - Increased

American Jews were asked: Over the past five years, have you been the target of an antisemitic physical attack, an antisemitic remark in person, by mail, or by phone, or an antisemitic remark online or through social media?

37% - Yes

63% - Not a target/Don’t know

General public was asked: Over the past five years, have you seen any antisemitic incidents, such as negative remarks or online content about Jewish people, or physical attacks on Jewish people or their religious facilities?

12% - Yes, one time

36% - Yes, more than one time

52% - No

48% - Yes

52% - No

To what extent, if at all, do you think the Democratic Party holds antisemitic views?

American Jews:

37% - A lot/Some

61% - Not much/at all

2% - Don't know/refused

General Public:

42% - A lot/Some

54% - Not much/at all

5% - Don't know/refused

To what extent, if at all, do you think the Republican Party holds antisemitic views?

American Jews:

69% - A lot/Some

28% - Not much/at all

3% - Don't know/refused

General Public:

52% - A lot/Some

43% - Not much/at all

5% - Don't know/refused

How familiar are you with the BDS movement?

American Jews:

61% - Familiar

39% - Not familiar

General Public:

25% - Familiar

75% - Not familiar

Do you view the BDS movement as antisemitic?

American Jews:

80% - Mostly antisemitic/ has antisemitic supporters

15% - Not antisemitic

5% - Don't know

General Public

68% - Mostly antisemitic/ has antisemitic supporters

19% - Not antisemitic

13% - Don't know

Do you view the statement, “Israel has no right to exist,” as antisemitic or not?

American Jews:

85% - Antisemitic

14% - Not antisemitic

1% - Don't know

General Public:

74% - Antisemitic

21% - Not antisemitic

1% - Don't know

Do you view the statement, “The U.S. government only supports Israel because of Jewish money,” as antisemitic or not?

American Jews:

84% - Antisemitic

15% - Not antisemitic

1% - Don't know

General Public

55% - Antisemitic

39% - Not antisemitic

1% - Don't know

Do you view the statement, “American Jews are more loyal to Israel than to America,” as antisemitic or not?

American Jews:

76% - Antisemitic

22% - Not antisemitic

2% - Don't know

General Public:

50% - Antisemitic

43% - Not antisemitic

7% - Don't know

How much do you know about the Holocaust?

American Jews:

99% - A lot/Some

0% - Not much/ Nothing (Not) at all

General Public

75% - A lot/Some

24% - Not much/ Nothing (Not) at all

How important do you think it is for schools to teach middle and high school students the history of the Holocaust?

American Jews:

99% - Important

0% - Not Important

1% - Don't know

General Public

90% - Important

8% - Not important

1% - Don't know

The State of Antisemitism in America 2020: Survey of American Jews, was conducted by the research company SSRS, and is based on telephone interviews carried out September 9 - October 4, with a national sample of 1,334 Jews over age 18. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.2%.

AJC’s 2020 Survey of the General Public on Antisemitism, was also conducted by the research company SSRS, and is based on telephone interviews carried out September 15 – September 20, with a national sample of 1,010 people over age 18. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.7%.



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