ADL: 2 in 3 Israeli teens report experiencing anti-Semitism online

Poll suggests that websites and social media are worldwide hotbeds for hate against Israelis.

Students at computers (photo credit: Reuters)
Students at computers
(photo credit: Reuters)
Two in three Israeli teenagers have experienced some form of anti-Semitic expression on the Internet, according to an Anti-Defamation League poll published on Tuesday.
One in three young Israelis surveyed also reported being the victim of an online, anti- Semitic attack just because they are Israeli.
It is “shocking” that “with the Internet, it has brought the experience of anti-Semitism to Israeli youth,” ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said on Thursday.
Foxman said he assumed that because they did not live in Diaspora, most Israelis were sheltered from anti-Semitism.
The poll, which has a margin of error of ±4.4 percentage points, was conducted by Geocartography Knowledge Ltd. They surveyed five hundred Jewish teens between the ages of 15 to 18 in mid-October.
These findings come on the heels of an ADL report in July which showed that anti-Semitic incidents in the US decreased significantly from 2011 to 2012 (13%) – continuing a three-year downward trend – and a public opinion poll from this Tuesday which found that three-quarters of Americans support Israel, the highest level in at least eight years.
Although anti-Semitism in the United States appears to be decreasing, Tuesday’s poll suggests that websites and social media are worldwide hotbeds for hate against Israelis.
ADL National Chairman Barry Curtiss-Lusher expressed his alarm in July that the Internet was becoming a forum for anti-Semitism.
The Internet allows bigots to express themselves anonymously, and to have “an outlet to reach a potential audience of millions,” he said.
In an interview with the Post this week, Curtiss- Lusher also said this risk is increased because of the proliferation of Facebook pages, tweets and websites created everyday.
To combat all types of bigotry, Curtiss-Lusher recommends educating people on the dangers, as well as holding online communities responsible to flag hateful pages, so that moderators will remove them.
Thursday’s poll suggests that a majority of Israeli youth is already participating in this practice of reporting cyber-abuse.
59% of Israeli teenagers that were attacked over the Internet said they took some kind of action against this cyber-anti-Semitism. That included them directly reporting the abuses, or asking their friends to on their behalf.
Foxman, in a statement, said it was “good news” that young Israelis “do not remain passive,” because they “can play a role in helping to respond to and counteract online hate speech.”