A new study finds Democrats are more anti-Semitic than Republicans.
The Institute for Jewish & Community Research, which conducted an authoritative public opinion survey on the topic of anti-Semitic beliefs, also reveals the young are more likely to be anti-Jewish than those over 35.
“In the wake of the Holocaust, social norms in the United States and elsewhere in the world were more prohibitive of most overt expressions of anti-Semitism,” said Gary Tobin, president of the institute. “The constraints against anti-Semitism are weakening, and the rise in anti-Semitic beliefs is part of that trend.”
The survey, entitled, “Anti-Semitic Beliefs in the United States,” by Tobin and Sid Groeneman, also asked some other timely questions, and yielded some surprising results:
- Nearly one-third of Americans (32 percent) were concerned that a Jewish president might not act in America’s best interests if they conflict with Israel’s. This belief recalls the “dual loyalties” stigma sometimes applied to American Jews – that Jewish Americans are at least equally swayed by Israel’s interests as by what is best for America.
- Democrats tend to be more anti-Semitic than Republicans. For example, Republicans are less likely to view Jews as caring only about themselves (12 percent) than Democrats or independents (20 percent each). This finding may come as a surprise to many Jews, who are much more heavily aligned with the Democratic Party.
- Thirty-seven percent of Americans agree that Jews were responsible for killing Jesus Christ. Historically the Christ-killing charge has served as an ideological basis of anti-Semitism. Moreover, the analysis shows that those holding the view that Jews killed Jesus Christ are more likely to accept other anti-Jewish stereotypes, see Jews as different from themselves, and also see Jews as a moral threat to America.
In addition, the survey asked respondents about their beliefs regarding:
- Jewish “control of the media”
- Jewish lawyers
- Holocaust denial
- Jewish “influence on Wall Street”
The data from the survey also revealed a connection between anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism.
“Much of anti-Israelism is thinly veiled anti-Semitism – anti-Semitism in disguise,” said Tobin. “The same kinds of stereotypes are often used, such as Israel controls the media or Congress.”
On the other hand, the research revealed that nearly one-half of the American public (49 percent) perceives Jews as “like themselves” in terms of basic beliefs and values. Jews are viewed as more similar in basic beliefs and values to other Americans than Muslims, Mormons and atheists. However, Jews are seen as significantly less similar to other Americans than blacks, Hispanics and Catholics. In other words, Catholics, Hispanics and blacks are viewed as more “American” than Jews, while Mormons, Muslims and atheists are not.
Tobin reminds us that “we cannot ignore the flip side of this story: Jews are accepted in America by large numbers.” He says, “Indeed, it is not insignificant that about 50 million plus Americans, or 24 percent of our sample, do not hold even one anti-Semitic belief.”
The survey was conducted by International Communications Research, a leading public opinion research organization based in Media, Pa., utilizing random-digit dialing. The sample for the main survey is made up of 1,013 randomly selected adults from across the country. The sampling error for total-sample percentage estimates is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.