Poll of US Jews: 17 percent of people had been target of antisemitic attack

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Poll of US Jews: 17 percent of people had been target of antisemitic attack

AJC survey found one-in-five have changed where they go or the way they display their Jewishness over the past year for fear of antisemitism.

Vandalism at the  Ahavas Israel cemetery (2020) (Credit Ed Miller/ADL)
Vandalism at the Ahavas Israel cemetery (2020) (Credit Ed Miller/ADL)

A survey of American Jews has shown that one-in-five have changed where they go or the way they display their Jewishness over the past year for fear of antisemitism.

In the poll, organised by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), 17 percent of Jews also said they were the target of an antisemitic remark in person over the past 12 months, while 12 percent said they had been targeted online.

These figures “should alarm Americans”, said AJC chief executive David Harris. “Now is the time for American society to stand up and say enough
is enough.”

Of the non-Jews polled, 60 percent said antisemitism was a serious problem, compared to 90 percent of Jews. Three quarters of all respondents felt the far-right was a threat to Jews, while just over a third felt likewise about the far-left.

The poll captured a feeling of pessimism among American Jews, with almost nine in 10 saying antisemitism had increased in recent years.

The question of what constitutes anti-Jewish racism appeared as controversial as ever.

When asked if the statement “American Jews are loyal to Israel and disloyal to America” is antisemitic, 27 percent of the general population surveyed said it was not, as did 14 percent of the poll’s Jewish respondents.

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