Most Americans are exposed to anti-Jewish and anti-Israel comments from popular culture, politicians and social media, while friends or family appear to have a stronger influence on beliefs about Jews and Israel than other sources, according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League.
Some 19% of Americans have a family member or friend that they know dislikes Jews, according to the report, "The Antisemitic Environment: How Social and Media Exposures Predict Antisemitic Beliefs."
The report also found that 14% of people at least sometimes hear anti-Jewish comments from religious organizations and 7% of Americans “often” hear anti-Jewish comments from politicians.
The data for the report published on Thursday comes from the ADL's most recent Survey of Antisemitic Attitudes in America, released at the beginning of the year. Researchers asked questions to uncover how frequently respondents hear antisemitic and anti-Israel rhetoric across a variety of political, religious, media and social sources.
Between one-fifth and one-third of those polled reported hearing anti-Jewish comments “often” or “sometimes” from political, cultural and media sources. Respondents also reported hearing such comments much less frequently from family, friends and religious surroundings.
The most common sources of overheard antisemitic comments were from politicians, 7% “often,” 22% “sometimes”; followed by TV, movies and popular culture, 6% “often,” 20% “sometimes”; and social media, 6% “often,” 19% “sometimes”.
Family was the least common source of antisemitic remarks: The poll found 78% of those polled “never” hear anti-Jewish comments from their family, and just 2% of people reported hearing anti-Jewish comments from family “often”; another 6% indicated they heard comments from family “sometimes.”
Researchers found, however, that the number of family and friends who like or dislike Jews was strongly associated with an individual’s anti-Jewish attitudes. People who reported having more friends or family members who dislike Jews, believed, on average, significantly more anti-Jewish tropes.
“While Americans are bombarded with antisemitic and anti-Israel messaging all across our public discourse, families and friends have the biggest role in fueling this hate,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO.
The nationally representative survey of more than 4,000 Americans was conducted in September and October 2022 by the ADL Center on Antisemitism Research in partnership with the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.
First published: 19:41, 05.04.23