Most Americans view Judaism positively

But 15% admit at least some bias against Jews, new poll finds; more prejudice found against Muslims.

By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER, JPOST CORRESPONDENT IN WA
January 24, 2010 05:59
1 minute read.

The vast majority of Americans say they have positive feelings towards Judaism and no prejudice against Jews, though nearly half say they have little knowledge of the religion, according to a new poll.

In addition, Americans are most likely to acknowledge prejudice against Muslims and the strongest predictor of such prejudice is whether those Americans also dislike Jews, the survey found.

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Some 71 percent of Americans hold a positive view of Judaism (including 25% who hold a very positive view), according to the survey of religious attitudes put out by Gallup on Friday, while 25% do not. In addition, 15% self-reported feeling at least some bias against Jews.

That's in contrast to 43% who admit that they hold prejudice towards Muslims, though 31.6% of those people have similar feelings towards Jews, the survey found.

Of the three minority faiths covered - Islam, Judaism and Buddhism - those surveyed were far more likely to know a Jew personally than an adherent of the other two faiths. But still, 19% said they did not know a Jew personally.

The Gallup survey was conducted during the first two weeks of November among 1,002 American adults, with a margin of error of +/- 3.4%.

Another poll reported on last week found that a solid majority of urban Saudis, 57%, wanted to see stronger sanctions applied against Iran. Additionally, a third backed a US strike on Iran and another third said they would be somewhat supportive of similar action by Israel should Iran not halt its nuclear program.

The poll, summarized by David Pollock of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, also found that in an open-ended question about the greatest external threats Saudi Arabians face, terrorism and religious extremism were by far the most common responses.

The face-to-face survey was conducted in November of 1,000 Saudis in three urban areas, in conjunction with Pechter Middle East Polls, a Princeton-based research organization, according to Pollock.


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