AJC: 88% of American Jews fear rising anti-Semitism

The AJC said it is “the largest and most comprehensive examination ever of American Jews’ experiences and perceptions of anti-Semitism.”

By Joseph Wolkin, World Israel News

The American Jewish Congress revealed alarming finds on Wednesday in a new survey that spotlighted American Jewish fears of rising anti-Semitism in the U.S.

The organization said it is “the largest and most comprehensive examination ever of American Jews’ experiences and perceptions of anti-Semitism.”

This new poll comes almost a year since the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, in which 12 Jews were killed by a gunman during a Sabbath morning service.

According to the survey, 88 percent of Jews said anti-Semitism is a problem in the United States. Thirty-eight percent of that group said hate is “a very serious problem.”

“American Jews could not be clearer about the reality of antisemitism in the U.S.,” AJC CEO David Harris said in a press release.

“Our survey provides, for the first time, an in-depth assessment of American Jewish perceptions of, and experiences with, anti-Semitism in their own country. This hatred is real, comes from multiple sources, and is growing. It needs to be taken seriously and dealt with in a sustained, multi-pronged response.”

The pollsters interviewed 1,283 Jews over the age of 18 between Sept. 11 and Oct. 6.

An astonishing 42 percent of those polled say the status of Jews in the United States is less secure than they felt a year ago.

Additionally, 73 percent of U.S. Jews disapprove of President Donald Trump’s handling of the threat of anti-Semitism.

“American Jews assign greater responsibility to the Republican Party than the Democratic Party for the current level of antisemitism in the U.S.,” the AJC said in an official press release.

Within the past year, 36 percent of the American Jews feel the climate on college campuses toward pro-Israel students is more hostile, with 41 percent saying it is about the same.

Only 24 percent of American Jews who were the target of an anti-Semitic attack or remark reported the incident, whether it was through social media, to a Jewish organization or their local authorities.

Throughout the year, 31 percent of those questioned avoided publicly wearing, carrying or displaying things that might help people identify them as a Jew, such as wearing a yarmulke or a star of David necklace.

Fifty-seven percent of the people polled say the Jewish institutions they are affiliated with have hired security guards.

Most of all, almost 90 percent of those in the survey stated that the political right poses a threat to Jews in the United States, with 49 percent reporting “a very serious threat.”

Eighty-five percent said Islamic extremism is a major threat to Jewish Americans.

Sixty-four percent also said the extreme left is a threat.