Anti-Semitism in the United States

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Holocaust Denial
Hatred Online
2000 Audit of anti-Semitic Incidents
1999 Audit of anti-Semitic Incidents
Hate on the Internet
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Anti-Semitism in the USA


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Following is a backgrounder on the current state of anti-Semitism in America in the year 2000 based on recent studies, statistics on anti-Semitic incidents and ongoing Internet monitoring conducted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) 

ANTI-SEMITISM ON THE INTERNET

In the days following  the selection of Sen. Lieberman for the Democratic ticket, anti-Semites, racists and bigots have taken to the Internet to spread anti-Semitic vitriol in chat rooms and online message boards. While the majority of the messages were posted by anti-Semites and racists with the intention of reaching others of a similar bent, remarks have also begun to appear on a handful of racist Web pages operated by some of America’s most notorious anti-Semites, including Don Black’s Stormfront and Matt Hale’s World Church of the Creator.

For the most part the messages play into classical anti-Semitic stereotypes and canards, including conspiracy theories and the age-old myth of Jewish power and influence. There have also been isolated incidents on shortwave radio broadcasts and talk radio programs. The following is a selection of examples of anti-Semitism found on the Internet:

  • "While undoubtedly some will be surprised by this, I am very happy that the Jew Joseph Lieberman has been chosen by Al Gore to be his running mate, for it brings the pervasive Jewish influence of the federal government out in the open so that people can see what we anti-Semites are talking about." -- Matt Hale, in a press release e-mailed to his followers.
  • "Since political campaigns allow all sorts of attacks on individuals, this is a good chance to tell the truth about Judaism. Jokes and the horrible truth about Judaism will all be more acceptable since the Jew has thrown his hat in the ring." – Posting in a World Church of the Creator club on Yahoo!
  • "I hope you dumb, racist, anti-Semites are getting your visas and passports in order. You’re gonna need ‘em. If anything, we’re drawing up blueprints for crematoria, if you catch my drift." – Message posted in a white supremacist newsgroup
  • The lusting for power and total control by the jew knows no limits and I can only pray that when the jewish masters find a way to remove gore (if elected) and install the first jew president of the most powerful and bloodthirsty corporate empire in world history, that lieberman and his controllers will institute every oppression that their twisted imaginations can invent, and aim them directly and solely at WHITE MEN! – Message sent by Tom Metzger to the American Nazi Party mailing list

Anti-Semites and racists continue to use the Internet to spread hateful messages, to raise funds and to recruit and organize members. Because of the near total anonymity offered by the Internet, haters are less prone to disguise their ideas or mask their online identities. As a result, there are literally hundreds of Web sites that spew racism and anti-Semitism. A number of sites are also devoted to Holocaust denial and revisionism. Further information on hate on the Internet, as well as the report Poisoning the Web: Hatred Online.

ANTI-SEMITIC INCIDENTS

In 2000, acts of vandalism, harassment and other expressions of hatred against Jews increased 4 percent nationwide, according to the ADL’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents.  The 2000 ADL Audit recorded 1,606 anti-Semitic incidents in 44 states and the District of Columbia, representing a slight increase over the 1,547 incidents reported in 1999.

In 1999, acts of vandalism, harassment and other expressions of hatred against Jews declined 4 percent nationwide, according to the ADL’s 1999 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents. Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia reported 1,547 anti-Semitic incidents, the lowest number recorded since 1989.  

The 1999 statistics, gathered using combined data from the League’s 30 regional offices and law enforcement, reflected the continuation of a downward trend that has resulted in a 25 percent drop in anti-Semitic incidents nationwide over the last five years. In 1998, the Audit counted 1,611 incidents in 41 states and D.C., an increase of 2 percent over the previous year.

The statistical decline contrasted with several high profile acts of anti-Semitic violence in 1999. In the span of eight weeks, horrific acts of violent hatred targeted three Jewish communities, including synagogue arsons in Sacramento, and shootings targeting Jews and other racial minorities in Chicago and Los Angeles.

As in previous years, the states with high concentrations of Jewish residents reported the most incidents, including New York, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Florida. Combined, these five states accounted for 68 percent, or 1,054 of the total.

The ADL Audit has been conducted annually for the last 19 years. The number of anti-Semitic incidents peaked in 1994, with a total of 2,066 incidents reported to ADL.

ANTI-SEMITIC ATTITUDES

In November 1998, the League released a Survey on Anti-Semitism and Prejudice in America. The survey, conducted in October of that year by the Boston firm of Marttila Communications/Kiley & Co. found that the number of Americans who hold strongly anti-Semitic views had dropped from 20 percent to 12 percent since 1992.

The national poll of 999 Americans found that between 20 and 25 million Americans – slightly more than one in ten – embraced a wide range of stereotypes about Jews, including that "Jews have too much power" and "Jews are more loyal to Israel than America." This marked a significant decline from the 20 percent of Americans found to have such views in 1992, and the 29 percent of Americans found to have a significant number of anti-Semitic views in 1964.

The survey marked a significant overall decline in anti-Semitism. This included a continued decline in the acceptance of classical anti-Jewish stereotypes and a new decline in the belief that Jews have too much power. Those who believed "Jews have too much power in the U.S. today" declined 11 percent from 31 percent in 1992. Those who believed "Jews have too much control and influence on Wall Street" was down to 16 percent from 27 percent.



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