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Two-thirds of Israeli teens believe Israel should react to expressions of anti-Semitism around the world every time they occur, according to a new study conducted by Market Watch and released by the Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday.
The survey, which polled 500 Israelis aged 15-18 and has a 4.4% margin of error, found that 45 percent are "strongly aware" of anti-Semitic incidents in the world, while 49% were "partially aware."
According to the study, 22% of Israeli teenagers and 36% of Israeli adults (the poll was conducted alongside a 500-respondent study among adult Israelis for comparison purposes) reported actually experiencing anti-Semitic incidents, with the number of reported encounters higher among family members of Holocaust survivors or those who traveled abroad in the past five years.
This awareness is coupled with a desire to see the state of Israel act against the phenomenon, the study found. While 28% of respondents believed Israel should react to anti-Semitic incidents worldwide "only in very severe cases," 64% said Israel should react in any situation. This figure rose to 74% among "religious" teenagers, according to the study.
Though "living in the Jewish state, they do not experience 'in-your-face' anti-Semitism as do their Diaspora peers, [Israeli teenagers] are fully aware of its reality," said ADL National Director Abe Foxman.
"The survey's results tell us that Israel's youth are aware of anti-Semitism and its seriousness," agreed Diaspora Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog. "It is obvious that the vain words of [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad seep deeply into the national consciousness of the youth, whose involvement in the challenges of the day we, at times, tend to ridicule," he added.
While Israeli teenagers associate anti-Semitism heavily with the Holocaust, a majority also believe rejection of Israel and anti-Israel stances around the world are tainted with prejudice. A total of 48% believe such criticism comes from anti-Semitism, with the figure rising to 63% among 18-year-olds.
Furthermore, according to the study, the teenagers feel Israel's existence is in danger, with 59% reporting that Israel was facing a significant threat to its existence. Another 24% felt this threat was grave.
There is little fear of a new Holocaust in the Diaspora, with 62% of respondents saying "another Holocaust is not possible." Another 31% believe there is some possibility.