ADL Survey Finds Vast Majority of Israeli Teenagers Aware of Global Anti-Semitism
Update: ADL conducted a similar poll of Israeli teens in April 2008.
Jerusalem, March 28, 2007 … The vast majority of Israeli teenagers --96 % -- have an awareness of anti-Semitism around the world, according to a survey released today by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The poll results found that most Israeli teenagers felt that Israel faces an existential threat, but not in the classical anti-Semitic sense.
The nationwide survey of 500 Israeli youth aged 15-18 was conducted by Market Watch on March 19, 2007. A parallel survey of Jewish adults was also conducted for comparison purposes.
Among the main survey findings were:
- Israeli teens do not experience anti-Semitism "on the ground" in a way their peers in the Diaspora do, yet they are very much aware of anti-Semitism.
- Close to half --46 % -- relate to anti-Semitism as an historical event manifested in the Holocaust.
•64 % of teenagers believe the State of Israel has a responsibility for acting against anti-Semitism around the world.
- Three out of four teenagers said their awareness of anti-Semitism came from school, and nearly half --49 % -- said they should be learning more in school about anti-Semitism (60 % of parents believed the education system deals too little in the subject).
- Teenagers are worried more about the threat of destruction of the State of Israel than another Holocaust against the Jewish people.
- One out of two Israelis sees foreign criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism. (Among 18-year-olds the result reached 63%).
The survey findings were released in Jerusalem by Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, who said, "It is apparent from the survey that the overwhelmingly vast majority of Israeli teenagers have a great sense of awareness about anti-Semitism. Living in the Jewish State they do not experience 'in-your-face' anti-Semitism as do their Diaspora peers, yet they are fully aware of its reality."
Mr. Foxman added that, "the Israeli educational system, which is doing an excellent job in teaching about historical anti-Semitism, should look to enhance their programs by including contemporary concerns and using new tools, such as the Internet, to engage Israeli youth on the subject. Anti-Semitism is not just a history lesson, it is a current event."
When asked, "What comes to the top of your mind when you hear the term 'anti-Semitism?" close to 70 associations were given. The most popular answers were: 20% said Nazis, 16% said Holocaust, 13% said Hatred of Jews, 7 % said Germany, 6% said infinite hatred, 3 % said Arabs, 3% said Racism, 3%, 3% Jews and 3% said Hitler.
The poll found that 22% of Israeli teenagers and 36% of Israeli adults had encountered manifestations of anti-Semitism, with those coming from families of Holocaust survivors or traveling abroad in the past five years recording higher encounters.
When asked, "How should Israel react to manifestations of anti-Semitism?" 28% said react only in very severe cases, 64% said react in any case, 6% said not to react in any case and 2% said they didn't know. (Among religious teenagers 74% said Israel should react in any case)
Seventy-six percent (76%) of those interviewed said school was as a source of knowledge about anti-Semitism. 39% also cited TV programs, 23% cited the Internet, 22% cited newspaper articles, 12% cited parents, 12% cited documentaries, 8% cited the news, 7% cited grandparents or family members and 3% cited the tour to Poland.
Asked to evaluate the attention given to the subject of anti-Semitism by the education system in Israel, 8% of Israeli teenagers said it was high, 42% said it was adequate, 49 percent said it was too low and 1% said they didn't know. The same question asked of the adults found that 7% said it was too high, 18% found it adequate, 60% said it was too low and 15% didn't know.
Asked to what extent are you aware of anti-Semitic incidents in the world, 45% said they were strongly aware, 49% said they were partially aware, 5% said they were hardly aware and 1% said they were totally unaware of anti-Semitism against Jews in the world.
When asked, "Do you ever notice in foreign films contents, expressions or sayings whose context or meaning is anti-Semitic?" 10% said they often detect, 64% said they sometimes detect, 25% said they didn't detect and 1% said they didn't know. Similarly, when asked about lyrics in songs, 3% said they often detect, 28% said sometimes, and 69% said they did not detect.
Asked, "Do you think Israel is under a threat of destruction, or not?" 24% said Israel was under a serious threat, 59% said there was a certain threat, 17% said Israel was not under a threat of destruction and 1% didn't know.
When asked, "Do you think that in our day a second Holocaust is possible or not?" 6% said there was a real possibility for a second Holocaust, 31% said there was a certain possibility, 62% said a second Holocaust was not possible and 1% said they did not know.
Forty-eight percent (48%) of teenagers said they considered foreign criticism on Israel as anti-Semitism. 43% said they didn't and 9% said they didn't know. The perception that criticism of Israel stems form anti-Semitism is higher among 18-year-olds (63%) compared to younger teenagers. Among adults, 58% saw criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism, 34% said no and 8% said they didn't know.
The survey had a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.