More than four in 10 Jews in the United States feel their status in America is less secure than the previous year, according to a new poll by the American Jewish Committee.
The poll, conducted in the fall of 2022, was released on Monday by the AJC, a leading Jewish advocacy organization.
The research was conducted in a year of high-profile incidents of anti-Semitism, including the hostage-taking at a Texas synagogue. and anti-Jewish statements shared by celebrities on social media. Former President Donald Trump Dined With Two Openly Anti-Semitic Guestsdrawing criticism from his own Jewish supporters.
According to the AJC poll, 41% of respondents said the status of Jews in the US is less secure than the previous year, while 55% said it was the same. Only 4% thought it was safer.
The results show that anxiety has increased since a comparable survey in 2021, when 31% of respondents thought their status was less secure than the previous year.
Four out of five Jews said in the 2022 poll that anti-Semitism has grown over the past five years; almost half said it is taken less seriously than other forms of bigotry or hatred.
A quarter of respondents said they had been the direct target of anti-Semitic expressions, either in person or on social media, with 3% reporting a physical attack. Nearly four in 10 have changed their behavior to lessen their safety risks.
Likewise, nearly four in 10 reported avoiding overt expressions of Judaism in public, such as wearing a yarmulke. Smaller percentages reported taking similar steps on campus or at work.
— Nearly 90% of US Jews — and the same percentage of the country’s total population — believe that anti-Semitism is a serious problem, up from 73% in 2016.
—Of Jews surveyed in 2022, 63% said they find law enforcement appropriately responsive when it comes to anti-Semitism, a substantial drop from 2019 when that number was 81%.
The survey collected data from a nationally representative sample of 1,507 adults of Jewish religion or background. It was held from September 28th to November 3rd.
News of anti-Semitic incidents broke almost daily in the US Earlier this month, for example, numerous anti-Semitic leaflets were distributed in suburban Atlanta, including at the home of Georgia’s only Jewish state legislator.
Representative Esther Panitch, a freshman Democrat, denounced the flyers on the floor of the House of Representatives, with dozens of colleagues surrounding her to show solidarity.
“This weekend, it was my turn to be the target,” said Panitch. “Unfortunately, this is not the first time that a Jew has been afraid in the United States.”
On Thursday, Doug Emhoffhusband of Vice President Kamala Harris, took his campaign against anti-Semitism to the United Nations, urging diplomats from many nations to speak out against the growing global hatred of Jews and emphasizing: “Silence is not an option.”
Emhoff pointed to famous comedians who use anti-Semitism too often “to elicit cheap laughs, high-profile artists and politicians openly touting tired anti-Semitic tropes (and) others making comments laced with not-so-subtle innuendo.”
Among the most dramatic anti-Semitic incidents in 2022 is the January hostage confrontation at the Beth Israel Congregation synagogue. in Colleyville, Texas, a suburb of Forth Worth.
A British man armed with a pistol took four people hostage in the synagogue and held them for 10 hours before they escaped, and the captor was killed by the FBI.
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