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ADL poll: 18% of Americans are ‘uncomfortable spending time with a pro-Israel person’

Anti-Defamation League reports that one in five Americans believe Jews ‘don’t care about anyone but themselves,’ have ‘too much power’ in the United States

People dance and wave flags to celebrate Israel's 73rd Independence Day, in Times Square in New York City, April 18, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs)

Anti-Israel sentiments and beliefs in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories are widespread among Americans, a new Anti-Defamation League survey has found. According to the poll, the prejudice against Jews has doubled since 2019 and reached heights not seen in decades. 

The ADL poll, whose results were released Thursday, asked more than 4,000 Americans to which extent they agreed with different statements about anti-Jewish tropes. More than 20% of Americans – as many as 66 million people – agreed with six or more of the 11 anti-Jewish statements on the survey.

One in five Americans said Jews have “too much power” in the United States (20%) and that Jews “don’t care about anyone other than themselves” (21%). 

The poll saw 39% of respondents say they believe that Jews are more loyal to Israel than the United States, and more than half said Jews will “go out of their way to hire other Jews” (53%). 

“These findings reveal substantial belief in anti-Jewish tropes – such as Jews are too powerful, selfish, foreign and clannish,” the ADL said in a statement. 

The ADL also surveyed anti-Israel sentiments and found that 23% of Americans believe that Israel gets away with anything and controls the media. In addition, 18% replied that they are uncomfortable spending time with a pro-Israel person.  

“These anti-Israel beliefs are not commentary on Israeli government policies,” said ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt. “They are anti-Semitism in another form.” 

“From Pittsburgh to Charlottesville to the near-daily harassment of Jews in our greatest cities, anti-Semitic beliefs lead to violence. I hope this survey is a wake-up call to the entire country,” he said. 

Americans under 30 hold significantly more negative sentiments toward Israel and its supporters than older adults. However, young adults seem to show less of a belief in anti-Jewish tropes compared to older adults. 

“As concerning as these findings are, they also provide helpful direction for developing more effective interventions to fight various types of anti-Semitism,” Greenblatt said. “We plan to work with our partners from other Jewish community and civil rights organizations to refine strategies for addressing the root causes of anti-Jewish hate.” 

Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.

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