Over 80% of Israeli youth have encountered antisemitism online - ADL

More than one in four Israeli teens (27%) has been the target of derogatory language because they are Jewish. About half of the victims of the attacks experienced the attacks on social media (48%).  

 Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram apps are seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021 (photo credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC)
Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram apps are seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021
(photo credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC)

A new survey published by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation revealed alarming data about the extent of Israeli teens’ exposure to antisemitism on the Internet and social media. According to the survey’s findings, more than one in four Israeli teens (27%) has been the target of derogatory language because they are Jewish. About half of the victims of the attacks experienced the attacks on social media (48%).  

Another alarming figure indicates that 81% of Israeli youth have encountered expressions of online antisemitism, either in general or targeting them personally. Only 14% of the respondents said that they had not encountered antisemitism online.  

When drilling down to see where the Israeli teens encountered online antisemitism, it was found that 71% encountered antisemitic expressions coming from various people on social media, 66% encountered pages with antisemitic content on social media, 65% encountered songs or videos with antisemitic content and 30% encountered actual antisemitic websites.  

What about criticizing, boycotting Israel?

The Israeli teens were asked about their attitudes in regard to criticism of the State of Israel. The results showed that an overwhelming majority of them are able to distinguish between criticism of the State of Israel or its government’s policies and other utterances or actions that are antisemitic.  

Eighty-four percent of the youth noted that the imposition of a boycott on the State of Israel constituted antisemitism; 88% of the youth said that denying the existence of the State of Israel constitutes antisemitism; and 88% of the youth said that publishing conspiracy theories about the intentions or actions of Israel or the “Zionists” aimed at controlling the world constitutes antisemitism.  

An example of antisemitic content spread through TikTok. (credit: screenshot)An example of antisemitic content spread through TikTok. (credit: screenshot)

However, only 29% of the youth noted that criticizing the State of Israel constitutes antisemitism.  

The survey was conducted by Maagar Mochot – Interdisciplinary Research and Consulting Institute, Ltd., using a combined telephone and online survey, with an existing multi-participant internet panel, using a random probabilistic sample of 708 young respondents as noted above. The sampling error for the various estimates is +/-4.0%.    

“The data prove beyond a shadow of a doubt and unlike in the past, that Israeli youth are not immune to the harmful effects of antisemitism," said Carole Nuriel, the director of the ADL in Israel. "If in the past, antisemitism was perceived as a problem exclusive to Diaspora Jewry, in the age of social networks and online gaming, Israeli youth, who spend a significant part of their time on these platforms are definitely exposed to antisemitic attacks."

"If in the past, antisemitism was perceived as a problem exclusive to Diaspora Jewry, in the age of social networks and online gaming, Israeli youth, who spend a significant part of their time on these platforms are definitely exposed to antisemitic attacks."

Carole Nuriel

“The results of the survey are shocking and of great concern," said Dr. Beatrice Gorawantschy, director of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Israel. "This is a wake-up call for us all," she said and added that "we at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Israel see these data as a warning sign and this will only step up our determination to fight even more keenly against antisemitism, no matter what form it takes."