ADL polls: Americans increasingly concerned about anti-Semitism

While Americans are largely respectful of Jews, they are increasingly concerned about anti-Semitic violence, two ADL polls have found.

The surveys, which the ADL reported April 6, reveal that anti-Semitic attitudes in the United States have increased slightly to 14 percent even though “the vast majority of Americans hold respectful opinions of their Jewish neighbors.”

The polls also found that 52 percent of the respondents are concerned about violence in the United States that is directed at Jews. Further, 76 percent are concerned about violence directed at Muslims.

More than eight in 10 Americans (84 percent) believe it is important for the government to play a role in combating anti-Semitism, up from 70 percent in 2014.

According to ADL, the polls are based on 3,600 interviews conducted in the U.S. in January and February, and another 1,500 interviews in October 2016.

The results were released as part of ADL’s ongoing research into anti-Jewish attitudes under the ADL Global 100, a project launched in 2014 that established a worldwide index of anti-Semitic sentiment. New data on four additional countries will be released in full later this spring.

“We conducted two polls to ensure that we fully understood the mood of the country, ADL Chief Executive Officer Jason A. Greenblatt said in a prepared statement. “The good news in this research is that today a large majority of Americans do not subscribe to common anti-Semitic stereotypes. It’s also encouraging that a record number of Americans are concerned about violence against the Jewish and Muslim communities, and are troubled at how intolerance has infected our politics.

“But it’s discouraging to know that Muslims and other minorities feel unsafe,” he added. “Clearly, there is still a lot of work to do.”

ADL has been polling anti-Semitic attitudes in the United States since 1964 and has tracked a pronounced decline in anti-Jewish attitudes in the last 50 years.

In its October 2016 installment of Survey of Anti-Semitic Attitudes in the U.S., the ADL found that 14 percent of the population – approximately 34 million American adults – holds anti-Semitic beliefs.

ADL also annually publishes an Audit of Anti-Semitic Incident. The agency will release its most recent audit for 2016 later this month.


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