A nationwide survey released Thursday by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) shows the number of Americans who hold anti-Semitic attitudes remains constant from its 2005 findings, demonstrating once again that "anti-Semitic beliefs endure in America."
The 2007 Survey of American Attitudes Towards Jews in America, a national telephone survey of 2,000 American adults conducted October 6 through October 19, found that 15% of Americans - or nearly 35 million adults - hold views about Jews that are "unquestionably anti-Semitic," compared to 14% in 2005.
Previous ADL surveys over the last decade had indicated that anti-Semitism was in decline. Seven years ago, in 1998, the number of Americans with hardcore anti-Semitic beliefs had dropped to 12% from 20% in 1992.
"What concerns us is that the successes we had seen, moving toward a more tolerant and accepting America, appear not to have taken hold as firmly as we had hoped," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "These findings, coupled with the ongoing ... anti-Semitic incidents and hate crimes, suggest that anti-Semitic beliefs endure and resonate with a substantial segment of the population, nearly 35 million people."
The survey found that 31% of Americans believe Jews are more loyal to Israel than America, and more than one quarter of the American people believe Jews were responsible for the death of Christ.
Fifteen percent of the general population believes that Jews have "Too much power in the US," with Jewish influence on Wall Street being named in particular.
"When it comes to Jews, old stereotypes die hard," said Foxman, "especially about loyalty, the death of Jesus, and power. For over 40 years one of the most stable and telling indicators of anti-Jewish prejudice in America has been the question of fundamental Jewish loyalty to the US."
On the other hand, noted Foxman, "stereotypes about 'Jewish power' in the US have replaced many of the classical ethnic stereotypes previously attributed to Jewish Americans."
The survey revealed that 29% of foreign-born Hispanics hold hardcore anti-Semitic beliefs, while 15% of Hispanics born in the US fall into the same category.
"We believe that the strong anti-Semitic views held by one of
the fastest growing segments in America is no doubt a reflection of what is being learned about Jews in the schools, churches and communities of Latin American countries, which is anti-Semitism at its most basic," said Foxman.
The 2007 survey found that 32% of African-Americans hold strong anti-Semitic beliefs, more than three times more than the 10% for whites. That finding is perhaps related to another that found that the more educated a person is, the less likely he or she is to hold Anti-Semitic views.
On a positive note, the survey found a majority of Americans hold Jews in high regard on many issues, especially on issues related to ethics and family.