Antisemitic prejudice among Americans is at its highest level in decades according to ADL’s newest survey, “Antisemitic Attitudes in America.”
The survey was released on Jan. 12 and found that the amount of Americans who hold antisemitic prejudice has nearly doubled from 11% to 20% since 2019 when ADL last conducted the survey.
The survey also found that 85% of Americans believe at least one antisemitic trope, which has increased from 61% from the 2019 survey, according to an ADL news release.
“The results of this survey are shocking, yet they also correspond to the trends we have seen in the JCRC’s annual Antisemitism Audit,” said Andrea Bernstein, the associate director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Milwaukee Jewish Federation.
“It points to the work we need to continue and expand. We need to develop and deepen relationships across differences — both inside and outside the Jewish community,” Bernstein said.
ADL, previously known as the Anti-Defamation League, is a Jewish non-governmental organization that was created in 1913 to fight antisemitism. ADL has conducted the survey every three to four years since 1964 to study American attitudes towards Jewish people and categorize different types of antisemitic beliefs.
Much of the antisemitic prejudice recorded in the survey revolves around anti-Israel sentiment. ADL found that 39% of Americans believe that Jews are more loyal to Israel than the U.S., and 40% of Americans believe at least slightly that Israel treats Palestinians like Nazis treated Jews, according to the survey. ADL also identified almost a 40% correlation between Americans who believe in antisemitic tropes and Israel-focused antisemitism.
“We need to educate the broader community about Jewish identity in all its diversity, so that we counter the stereotypes and humanize our identities,” Bernstein said.
Some of the antisemitic prejudice recorded in the survey is based on antisemitic tropes about power, control and the media. ADL found that 20% of Americans believe Jews have too much power in the U.S., and 26% believe that Jews have too much power in the business world.
Overall, 52 million Americans agreed with six or more of the 11 antisemitic statements used in the survey since 1964, according to the survey.
“When a group is targeted by bigotry, an instinctive reaction can be for that community to withdraw into itself in self-protection and isolation,” Bernstein said. “We need to do just the opposite. And the JCRC is heartened by the concern and support from many allies with whom we partner.”