'12% in US hold anti-Semitic views'

ADL 12% of Americans ho

October 29, 2009 23:09
1 minute read.

Anti-Semitic attitudes in the US are at an all-time low, according to a nationwide survey released by the Anti-Defamation League on Thursday. The survey, of 1,200 adults found that 12 percent of Americans hold anti-Semitic views, down from 15% in 2007, and the matching the lowest figure recorded by the ADL, in 1998. The ADL's 1964 benchmark survey found that 29% of Americans held anti-Semitic views. Despite the incongruity of publishing the results on the same day as a shooting at a Los Angeles synagogue, ADL officials stressed it was a "good news survey." At press time, it was not immediately clear if the California shooting was religiously motivated, although police were investigating it as a possible hate crime. "The fact that anti-Semitic attitude have reached their lowest point to date is good news," said ADL National Director Abraham Foxman, who addressed the organization's national meeting in New York on Thursday. At the same time, he added, "We can't dismiss that 12% of the American people means that there are still over 30 million Americans that hold anti-Semitic views." Thirty percent of the respondents believe American Jews are more loyal to Israel than to America. A quarter of blacks surveyed hold anti-Semitic beliefs, and more than a third of Hispanics hold similar views. Education levels proved to be a strong predictor of anti-Semitic tendencies, and most anti-Semitic views manifest themselves in the accusation that Jews hold disproportionate power. Among those holding anti-Semitic beliefs, 79% think Jews have too much business power and 68% accuse Jews of controlling Wall Street. In a statement, Foxman acknowledged the contrast between relatively positive survey results and reports of anti-Semitic violence. "Just as the good news about the election of an African-American as president has been tempered by the surfacing of racism and conspiratorial thinking in reaction, so too the significant diminution of widespread prejudice against Jews is tempered by the manifestation of violence, conspiracy theories and insensitivities toward them," he said. The survey was conducted between September 26 and October 4 and has a 2.8% margin of error. In measuring anti-Semitic attitudes, the survey relied on an anti-Semitism index developed by the ADL more than four decades ago, which includes 11 questions used to gauge such tendencies.

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