Anti-Semitism and Prejudice in America
Highlights from an ADL Survey - November 1998

How Prevalent is Anti-Semitism in America?
Declining Acceptance of Nearly All Anti-Jewish Stereotypes
Which Americans are Most Likely to Hold Anti-Semitic Views?
Anti-Semitism and Racism, Xenophobia and Intolerance
Anti-Semitism and Political and Economic Alienation
Anti-Semitism and Attitudes Toward Israel
Survey Methodology


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Anti-Semitism and Political and Economic Alienation

Political and economic alienation have only a modest connection to anti-Semitism.

Confirming the three previous studies, the 1998 poll finds that political and economic alienation appear to have only a modest impact on an individual's propensity to accept anti-Jewish stereotypes.

As the 1992 study pointed out, no poll can determine whether a dramatic change in the economic or political climate of the country could trigger an increase in overt anti-Semitism. But the current survey shows only a small correlation between anti-Semitism and political alienation or economic distress.

The chart on the following page shows that the more anti-Semitic someone is, the more likely they are to:

  • Express sympathy for the concerns of anti-government militia groups.
  • Agree that militia groups have the right to use force to defend themselves from "federal government interference."
  • Believe that a small group of businessmen and government leaders meet secretly to make our country's decisions.

The most anti-Semitic group of Americans is also somewhat more likely than the rest of the public to:

  • Believe the U.S. economy is not in good shape.
  • Feel that they personally do not earn enough money to lead the kind of life they want.
  • See themselves as worse off financially than they were five years ago.

Worry that they or someone in their household might lose their job in the near future.

Graphs
1. Anti-Semitism and Anti-Government Sentiment
2. Anti-Semitism and Economic Distress

Next: Anti-Semitism and Attitudes Toward Israel


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1999 Anti-Defamation League