web analytics
April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » News & Views » US »

Anti-Semitism In America Today: Down But Far From Completely Out

Abraham Foxman (Photo: Justin Hoch)

Abraham Foxman (Photo: Justin Hoch)

Share Button

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.”

Share Button

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.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Anti-Semitism In America Today: Down But Far From Completely Out”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Flyers ordered Jews to appear at a designated location in Ukraine, in Sept., 1941. The next day, the Jews lined up at the Babi Yar Ravine.
‘Jews Must Register’ Flyer in Ukraine an Echo of Babi Yar
Latest News Stories
Zoo Matza

Chimpanzees and Orangutans eat Matza, unleavened bread traditionally eaten during the Passover holiday, at the Ramat Gan Safari on Thursday, April 17, 2014. I hope they can digest it. On Passover no leavened bread (Chametz) is allowed in Jewish possession, and that includes food we feed our animals.

Following intelligence reports of further expected Arab rioting and violence on the Temple Mount today, the police have placed restrictions on Muslim entry to the Jewish holy site, according to a report on Arutz-7. Entry will be limited to Muslims over the age of 50, and women, also they must be Israeli citizens or residency […]

Aaronovitch and Police

PA President Abbas’s refusal to publicly condemn the terror attack that killed Baruch Mizrachi is putting a damper on the parade.

The Shas political party, founded and run by the late Rav Ovadia Yosef, has a appointed a new spiritual leader, according to a Galei Tzahal report. The rabbi chosen to replace Harav Ovadia and be the new president of the party’s Council of Torah Sages is Rabbi Shalom Cohen. Aryeh Deri is the political leader […]

As Rabbi Stav said, “You’re free to think what you want. But do you want me to recognize Chelsea Clinton’s child as a Jew?”

In 1941, the Jews of Kiev received a similar leaflet. When they showed up the next day, more than 34,000 were murdered.

Teen stabbed in South Florida high school.

The Kotel Plaza, the stairs, the Kotel entrance, the roads, everything was packed for Birkat Cohanim – the Priestly Blessing of the People – now imagine if this had been held on top of Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount!

Four Israeli citizens were hurt Thursday in a road terror attack near Tekoa in Gush Etzion.

Israel Police closed access to the Temple Mount to Jews and other non-Muslims on Thursday due to Arab violence.

Jews in Donetsk, Ukraine this week were ordered to “register” themselves and their assets.

U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East Martin Indyk is on his way back to the region to revive talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Hebron is proving to be a popular family tourist site during the Passover Holiday.

Hundreds attended the funeral of Police Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrachi, who was slain by terrorists on Passover eve.

A local Jewish merchant was stabbed Monday on the island of Djerba.

The Israeli hi-tech company Matrix has announced it is opening a “massive training center” in Nanjing, China.

More Articles from Uriel Heilman
An orthodox travel agent helped  saved the life of a Jew by convincing him not to violate the Shabbat by boarding the Malaysian flight that has been missing for three days.

“More than the Jews have kept the Shabbos (Sabbath), the Shabbos has kept the Jews.”

Ruth Lockshin of Toronto leads a partnership minyan at a conference in New York of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, December 2013.

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.

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.

For decades, it has been difficult to sort out the precise dividing lines between the varieties of Orthodoxy – Ultra, Haredi, Centrist, Modern, Liberal.

There are more people in America who identify themselves as Jews than you may have thought – an estimated 6.8 million, according to a new study. But a growing proportion of them are unlikely to raise their children Jewish or connect with Jewish institutions.

Pew survey: U.S. Jewish intermarriage rate rises to 58 percent

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: