Saturday, June 05, 2010

Anti-semitic attitudes in the U.S.

The Anti-Defamation League does a survey every few years about anti-semitism in the United States. The first survey was done in 1964, the most recent in the fall of 2009. The survey asks the respondents for their responses to 11 "index statements."
Anti-Semitic Index:
• Jews stick together more than other Americans.
• Jews always like to be at the head of things.
• Jews are more loyal to Israel than America.
• Jews have too much power in the U.S. today.
• Jews have too much control and influence on Wall Street.
• Jews have too much power in the business world.
• Jews have a lot of irritating faults.
• Jews are more willing than others to use shady practices to get what they want.
• Jewish business people are so shrewd that others don’t have a fair chance at competition.
• Jews don’t care what happens to anyone but their own kind.
• Jews are (not) just as honest as other businesspeople.
Those who agree with six or more of the index statements are regarded as "the most anti-semitic group of Americans." The percentage of Americans who fit into that category has diminished from 29% in 1964 to 12% in 2009.

The first three statements are the ones that the most people in the survey agree with. In 1964, 52% of the respondents agreed with the statement that "Jews stick together more than other Americans." 43% agreed with that statement in 2009, which was a drop even from 2007, when 50% of the respondents agreed with it.

In 1964, 54% of respondents agreed with the statement that "Jews always like to be at the head of things." 26% agreed with this statement in 2009.

In 1964, 30% of respondents agreed with the statement that "Jews are more loyal to Israel than America." Surprisingly, 30% of respondents in 2009 still agreed with this statement.

The survey covers more than responses to the index statements. A high percentage of Americans responding believed good things about Jews - 76% agreed that "Jews have a strong faith in God"; 71% believed that Jews "contributed much to the cultural life of America," and 78% believed that Jews emphasized the importance of family life.

Alongside these positive beliefs, about 29% of the respondents said that it is probably true that Jews were responsible for the death of Christ - the deicide charge based in the New Testament. 25% believe that Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust.

The survey also breaks down the respondents by race and ethnic origin. Of Hispanics born in other countries, about 35% fall into the "most anti-semitic group" category, while 28% of African Americans fall into this category (down from 37% in 1992).

Update (June 6): For a recent example of antisemitism in the United States, see Helen Thomas's remarks on May 27 at the White House celebration of American Jewish Heritage Month: Helen Thomas says Jews should get out of Palestine.

For the video, go to Transcript of the relevant remarks below:
From ""
Rabbi David F. Nesenoff interviews Helen Thomas

RN: "Any comments on Israel? We're asking everyone today, any comments on Israel."

HT: "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine."


HT: "Remember, these people are occupied and it's their land. It's not German, it's not Poland."

RN: "So where should they go, what should they do?"

HT: "They'd go home."

RN: "Where's the home?"

HT: "Poland, Germany."

RN: "So you're saying Jews should go back to Poland and Germany?"

HT: "And America and everywhere else."

1 comment:

  1. Great survey, great blog. I'm especially interested in numbers 8, 9 and 11 - I'm sure Bernard Madoff and other Jewish con-men have promoted this attitude disproportionately. In every article written on the Madoff case, the fact that he was Jewish was mentioned. I've heard of a case where a company was found to be fraudulent, and it so happened that the two jews involved were trialed together, with the others trialed separately due to date complications. The Jews were sentenced, the non-jews weren't.
    If you're interested I have a blog (called PMQ's) on British Politics.