New ADL poll: anti-Semitism down, but don’t get too comfortable

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

There’s a new Anti-Defamation League poll out, and as usual the good news is tempered by warnings that things aren’t as rosy as they seem.


The nationwide survey of Americans showed that anti-Semitic attitudes are at the lowest level in recorded history – or at least as long as ADL has been recording them.


Only 12 percent of Americans “hold anti-Semitic views,” a decline from 15 percent  two years ago.  By way of contrast, 29 percent had anti-Semitic views in 1964.


Lest we start feeling too good about that, the ADL’s Abe Foxman issued this warning:  “At the same time, there continues to be violence targeting Jews and an increasing use of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. We can’t dismiss that 12 percent of the American people means that there are still over 30 million Americans that hold anti-Semitic views.”


And this: “even in this 2009 good news survey, some bad news remains a constant, such as 30 percent believing that American Jews are more loyal to Israel than to America, 29 percent believing that Jews are responsible for the death of Christ. Equally of concern is that more than a quarter of African-Americans – 28 percent — hold anti-Semitic beliefs and more than a third of foreign born Hispanics –35 percent –have such attitudes.”


But black anti-Semitism is on the decline, according to the survey;  that 28 percent is down from a high of 37 percent in 1992 and 32 percent in 2007.


Hispanics born in this country are half as likely to hold anti-Semitic views as those who are foreign born.


And so on. Interesting data, and not great news for the “everybody hates us” faction of the Jewish community.


Read the whole thing here.


As noted in a breaking Jewish Week news story, the survey was released on the same day as a shooting at a California synagogue. So far, no details. 

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.