ADL survey also finds broad swath of Americans hold antisemitic, anti-Israel sentiment
New York, NY, January 12, 2023 … A new survey released today from ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) found widespread belief in antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes (20 percent) — nearly doubling the antisemitic prejudice ADL found in 2019 — as well as substantially negative anti-Israel sentiment among Americans.
The survey of a representative sample of more than 4,000 U.S. adults asked the extent to which Americans agreed with different statements about anti-Jewish tropes and found that 20 percent of Americans – as many as 52 million people – agreed with six or more of the 11 anti-Jewish statements used since 1964.
Among the findings: 39 percent of respondents believe that Jews are more loyal to Israel than the United States; 20 percent say Jews have “too much power” in the United States; 21 percent agree that Jews “don’t care about anyone other than themselves;” and 53 percent say that Jews will go out of their way to hire other Jews. These findings reveal substantial belief in anti-Jewish tropes – such as Jews are too powerful, selfish, foreign, and clannish.
“Those of us on the front lines have expected such results for a while now – and yet the data are still stunning and sobering: there is an alarming increase in antisemitic views and hatred across nearly every metric — at levels unseen for decades,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “From Pittsburgh to Charlottesville to the near-daily harassment of Jews in our greatest cities, antisemitic beliefs lead to violence. I hope this survey is a wake-up call to the entire country.”
ADL also asked respondents the extent to which they agreed with anti-Israel beliefs and found a high number of Americans harbor extremely negative antisemitic views. The poll found that 23 percent believe that Israel gets away with anything and controls the media; and 18 percent say they are uncomfortable spending time with a pro-Israel person.
“These anti-Israel beliefs are not commentary on Israeli government policies,” Greenblatt said. “They are antisemitism in another form.”
Additional findings include:
- Three percent of the population believes every one of the 11 tropes respondents were asked about; which might seem small but adds up to approximately 8 million Americans -- more than the total number of Jews in the United States.
- Younger adults (under 30 years of age) hold significantly more negative sentiment toward Israel and its supporters than older adults.
- There was greater belief in anti-Jewish tropes among young adults (ages 18-30) than in prior research. While younger adults have modestly lower rates of believing in tropes than older Americans, this difference is far less than previously observed. For example, in 1992, ADL found a 19-percentage point gap between those under 40 and those over 40. Indeed, one of that study’s major findings was that “the steady influx of younger, more tolerant Americans into the adult population” had led to an overall decrease in antisemitism.
- While young adults show less belief in anti-Jewish tropes (18 percent believe six or more tropes) than older adults (20 percent), the difference is substantially less than measured in previous studies. Additionally, young adults hold significantly more anti-Israel sentiment than older adults, with 21 percent and 11 percent agreeing with five or more anti-Israel statements, respectively.
“As concerning as these findings are, they also provide helpful direction for developing more effective interventions to fight various types of antisemitism,” 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.”
“This survey is perhaps the most in-depth study of Jewish hate in the U.S. ever conducted, garnering input from a diverse expert panel in its conception, it included in-depth, hour-long, one-on-one interviews with over 100 Americans, and also nearly 4,200 interviews via a comprehensive survey,” said David Dutwin, Senior Vice President with NORC at the University of Chicago. “It is fully representative of the U.S. and leverages state of the art survey techniques to generate the most honest and unbiased views of the American public possible.”
Since 1964, ADL has regularly conducted a nationally representative survey about attitudes toward Jews. ADL and NORC, in partnership with the One8 Foundation, updated this survey to examine antisemitism more holistically. In addition to analyzing Americans’ belief in classic anti-Jewish tropes, this survey also evaluated sentiment toward the Jewish state of Israel.
This survey was conducted online in September and October 2022. It includes a weighted, representative sample of 4,007 respondents from the NORC AmeriSpeak panel. The margin of error is +\- 2.06 percentage points. This is the first of several reports ADL plans to release based on this survey of U.S. antisemitic attitudes; future research will go into different population subgroups, for example.
ADL is the leading anti-hate organization in the world. Founded in 1913, its timeless mission is “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of antisemitism and bias, using innovation and partnerships to drive impact. A global leader in combating antisemitism, countering extremism and battling bigotry wherever and whenever it happens, ADL works to protect democracy and ensure a just and inclusive society for all.