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.

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