Don’t miss this opportunity to explore Israel off the beaten track, feel the conflict first hand, understand the security issues and politic realities, and have an unforgettable trip!
When Abraham Foxman steps down next summer from his longtime post as national director of the Anti-Defamation League, he’ll be leaving his successor with a much brighter picture on anti-Semitism in America than when Foxman joined the organization in 1965.
In an age when anti-Semitic incidents appear to be on the upswing in many parts of the world, America tops the list of countries where Jews suffer least from anti-Semitism, Foxman says.
Jews can live, study and work anywhere they want in America. Yes, there’s Mel Gibson, Louis Farrakhan and the occasional swastika scrawled on a synagogue wall, but Jews in America for the most part live free of discrimination or the threat of violence.
“Statistically, yes, the picture is pretty good,” Foxman told JTA in an interview this week. “We’ve made an awful lot of progress in this country in terms of social anti-Semitism.
“Socially, Jews in America have ‘made it.’ But it hasn’t eliminated some of the vestiges of anti-Semitism,” he said. “America is not immune to anti-Semitism. We’re not immune to racism and bigotry and prejudice.”
In Europe, the wellsprings of anti-Semitism are relatively well known: the far right, which is the traditional bastion of neo-Nazism; the far left, where Israel-bashing sometimes translates into anti-Semitism; and Muslim extremists.
But where is the anti-Semitism in America? Partly what makes it so difficult to find is that it’s hard to agree on what constitutes anti-Semitism.
Most of what we talk about when we talk about anti-Semitism today fits in one of three categories.
The most obvious and easiest to define is classic anti-Semitism: Jew-baiting, swastika scrawling, physical violence.
A recent example cropped up last fall in the Pine Bush school district in upstate New York, when The New York Times ran a front-page story describing how Jewish students there were being bullied, beaten, taunted and harassed while authorities looked the other way. Last month, three Jewish families from the district filed a lawsuit claiming their children were forced to endure “rampant anti-Semitic discrimination and harassment.”
Then there’s Israel-related anti-Semitism, though there is wide disagreement even among Jews about when anti-Zionism becomes anti-Jewish.
Finally, there is attitudinal anti-Semitism. Approximately 12 percent of Americans hold deeply entrenched anti-Semitic views, according to ADL polling, which uses an 11-question index to measure anti-Semitic opinions. The proportion of Americans who hold these viewpoints has held relatively study in recent years, at 12 to 14 percent. In 1964, by contrast, roughly 30 percent of Americans held such views.
Among those with anti-Semitic attitudes today, African-Americans and Latinos have disproportionately high numbers – above 30 percent. Foxman attributes the persistence of anti-Semitism among African-Americans to denial of the problem and a dearth of black leaders speaking out against anti-Semitism.
Among Latinos, the attitudes are seen as a holdover from Latin America, where traditional Catholic anti-Semitism persists and anti-Semitic attitudes are higher than in America. Once they acculturate to the United States, Latino anti-Semitism declines: Among first-generation immigrants, about 40 percent hold anti-Semitic attitudes; among those born here, the number falls to 20 percent.
Of the 5,790 bias incidents in the U.S. in 2012 recorded by the FBI, 19 percent were motivated by religious bias, compared to 48 percent by racial bias and 20 percent by sexual-orientation bias, according to the bureau. Of the 1,166 religious bias incidents, 60 percent were anti-Jewish, while the next highest number was anti-Muslim incidents at 13 percent. The approximately 700 incidents of bias against Jews ranged from vandalism to physical assault.
“It’s distressing that Jews are still the No. 1 religious target of bigotry,” Foxman said. “Pine Bush is a wake-up call to say to me that, you know what, you have to be careful that these statistics don’t lull you.”
About the Author: Uriel Heilman is managing editor of JTA. An award-winning journalist, he has worked in a variety of positions for publications in the United States and in Israel, including as New York bureau chief of the Jerusalem Post.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
We are experiencing technical difficulties, and won’t be able to fix the site before Shabbat in Israel…
The IDF has confirmed 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin, 23 of Kfar Saba is the soldier suspected kidnapped by Hamas on Friday.
Netanyahu called Kerry onto the carpet and Kerry and Ban Ki-Moon gave their assurances.
Hamas has learned the art of kidnapping from Hezbollah. Israel neeeds to figure out quickly how to deal with that.
3:31pm IDF Spox notifications: Hamas terrorists killed two IDF soldiers during the suspected kidnapping of 2nd Lt. Goldin this morning. We suspect that a group of Hamas terrorists, including a suicide attacker, kidnapped 2nd. Lt. Goldin at 9:30AM & dragged him into a tunnel. If our suspicions about today’s events are accurate, Hamas took advantage […]
This time Hamas may have succeeded in kidnapping a soldier.
Report: Hamas took advantage of the cease fire to attack IDF soldiers…
The IDF has released names of the soldier killed on Thursday night.
12:30pm Be’er Sheva Region, Ofakim… x2 10:50am Sirens at Eshkol. 10:03am – – Cease fire broken by Hamas – – Hamas fires rocket at Eshkol region. All winners, please collect your bets. No injuries were reported in the rocket strike. 9:30am Hamas hasn’t fired any rockets at Israel yet since the 8:00am cease fire went […]
If Israel finds a terror tunnel during the cease fire, do the terms of the cease fire allow it to be blown up?
Curious as to how long Israel has been rocket free? This site will tell you…
Hamas wants the Arabs in Judea and Samaria to join in…
As the 8:00am deadline for the cease fire approaches, Hamas has shot a lot rockets into Israel to get their last licks: 7:32am 08-01-2014 Bnei Ayish / Gan Yavne 7:32am 08-01-2014 Bnei Ayish / Gan Yavne 7:32am 08-01-2014 Bnei Ayish / Gan Yavne, Givati 7:31am 08-01-2014 Ashdod, Bnei Ayish / Gan Yavne, Givati 7:31am 08-01-2014 […]
Despite some limited success, after every conflagration Hamas has managed to re-arm and improve its rocket capacity, as evident in the rocket range on display in this round of fighting.
“Last year we took the $10,000 from him,” Jay Sanderson, president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, told JTA. “We’re not going to take it anymore.”
“More than the Jews have kept the Shabbos (Sabbath), the Shabbos has kept the Jews.”
The battle over partnership minyans is just the latest scuffle in the war over women’s roles in the Orthodox community.
Last week, a man who tried to build a pipe bomb for use in New York, Jose Pimentel, was sentenced to 16 years in prison on terrorism charges under laws Halberstam helped draft.
The kosher section at Winn-Dixie’s Boca Raton store is larger than that of many kosher-only supermarkets.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/us-news/anti-semitism-in-america-today-down-but-far-from-completely-out/2014/02/19/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: