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Antisemitism in the United States

Antisemitism in the United States has been a problem for Jewish Americans for centuries, mostly manifested as "gentlemen's agreements" rather than the overt persecutions that have occurred throughout Europe since the Crusades. Jewish Americans have flourished since colonial times in what later became the United States. While today the U.S. has the second-largest Jewish community in the world, before the late 19th and early 20th century they were a much smaller minority. Moreover, antisemitic occurrence has been on a generally decreasing trend in the last century consistent with a general reduction of socially sanctioned racism in the United States, especially since World War II and the Civil Rights Movement. Cultural changes from the 1960s onward into the 21st century have caused a large shift in general attitudes such that, in recent years, most Americans surveyed express positive viewpoints regarding Jews.[1]

In the United States, most Jewish community relations agencies draw a distinction between antisemitism, which is measured in terms of attitudes and behaviors, and the security and status of American Jews, which is measured by specific incidents. An ABC News report in 2007 recounted that about 6% of Americans reported some feelings of prejudice against Jews.[2] According to surveys by the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitism is rejected by clear majorities of Americans, with 64% of them lauding Jews' cultural contributions to the nation in 2011, but a minority holding hateful views of Jews remain, with 19% of Americans supporting the antisemitic canard that Jews co-control Wall Street in 2011.[3] As well, Holocaust denial in recent years has been only a fringe phenomenon with less than ten percent of Americans expressing either opposition or ignorance to the historical record.[4]


  • American viewpoints on Jews and antisemitism 1
    • Roots of American attitudes towards Jews and Jewish history in America 1.1
    • Stereotypes 1.2
    • Statistics of American viewpoints and analysis 1.3
  • Antisemitic incidents 2
  • Holocaust denial in the United States 3
  • Antisemitic organizations 4
  • African-American community 5
    • Nation of Islam 5.1
  • Avowed American antisemites 6
  • College campuses 7
  • New antisemitism 8
    • Criticism of "new antisemitism" findings in the United States 8.1
  • Hate crimes against Jews in the U.S. 9
    • Statistics and analysis 9.1
    • Antisemitic Incidents 9.2
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • Further reading 12
  • External links 13

American viewpoints on Jews and antisemitism

Roots of American attitudes towards Jews and Jewish history in America

Krefetz (1985) asserts that antisemitism of the 1980s seems "rooted less in religion or contempt and more in envy, jealously and fear" of Jewish affluence, and of the hidden power of "Jewish money".[5] Historically, antisemitic attitudes and rhetoric tend to increase when the United States is faced with a serious economic crisis.[6]

Academic David Greenberg has written in Slate, "Extreme anti-communism always contained an anti-Semitic component: Radical, alien Jews, in their demonology, orchestrated the Communist conspiracy." He also has argued that, in the years following World War II, some groups of "the American right remained closely tied to the unvarnished anti-Semites of the '30s who railed against the 'Jew Deal'", a bigoted term used against the New Deal measures under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.[7]

The fraudulent text The Protocols of the Elders of Zion has been viewed by American antisemites as a real reference to a supposed Jewish cabal out to subvert and ultimately destroy the U.S.[8]


The most persistent form of antisemitism has been a series of widely circulating stereotypes that constructed Jews as socially, religiously, and economically unacceptable to American life. They were made to feel marginal and menacing.[9]

Martin Marger writes "A set of distinct and consistent negative stereotypes, some of which can be traced as far back as the Middle Ages in Europe, has been applied to Jews."[10] David Schneder writes "Three large clusters of traits are part of the Jewish stereotype (Wuthnow, 1982). First, [American] Jews are seen as being powerful and manipulative. Second, they are accused of dividing their loyalties between the United States and Israel. A third set of traits concerns Jewish materialistic values, aggressiveness, clannishness."[11]

Some of the antisemitic canards cited by the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (ADL) in their studies of U.S. social trends include the claims that "Jews have too much power in the business world", "Jews are more willing to use shady practices to get what they want", and "Jews always like to be at the head of things". Other issues that garner attention is the assertion of excessive Jewish influence in American cinema and news media.[1]

Statistics of American viewpoints and analysis

Polls and studies over the past two decades point to a steady decrease in antisemitic attitudes, beliefs, and manifestations among the American public.[1][12] A 1992 survey by the

  • State of the Nation: Anti-Semitism and the economic crisis by Neil Malhotra and Yotam Margalit in Boston Review

External links

  • Buckley, William F. In Search of Anti-Semitism, New York: Continuum, 1992
  • Carr, Steven Alan. Hollywood and anti-Semitism: A cultural history up to World War II, Cambridge University Press 2001
  • Dershowitz, Alan M. Chutzpah 1st ed., Boston: Little, Brown, c1991
  • Dinnerstein, Leonard. Antisemitism in America, New York: Oxford University Press, 1994
  • Dinnerstein, Leonard Uneasy at Home: Antisemitism and the American Jewish Experience, New York: Columbia University Press, 1987.
  • Dolan, Edward F. Anti-Semitism, New York: F. Watts, 1985.
  • Extremism on the Right: A Handbook New revised edition, New York: Anti Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, 1988.
  • Flynn, Kevin J. and Gary Gerhardt The Silent Brotherhood: Inside America's Racist Underground, New York: Free Press; London: Collier Macmillan, c1989
  • Ginsberg, Benjamin The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, c1993
  • Hate Groups in America: a Record of Bigotry and Violence, New rev. ed. New York: Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, c1988
  • Hirsch, Herbert and Jack D. Spiro, eds. Persistent Prejudice: Perspectives on Anti-Semitism, Fairfax, Va.: George Mason University Press; Lanham, MD: Distributed by arrangement with University Pub. Associates, c1988
  • Jaher, Frederic Cople A Scapegoat in the Wilderness: The Origins and Rise of Anti-Semitism in America, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994
  • Lang, Susan S. Extremist Groups in America, New York: F. Watts, 1990
  • Lee, Albert Henry Ford and the Jews, New York: Stein and Day, 1980
  • Lipstadt, Deborah E. Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, New York: Free Press; Toronto: Maxwell Macmillan Canada; New York: Maxwell Macmillan International, 1993
  • Rausch, David A. Fundamentalist-evangelicals and Anti-semitism, 1st ed. Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1993
  • Ridgeway, James Blood in the Face: The Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads and the Rise of a New White Culture, New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1990
  • Roth, Philip The Plot Against America, Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2004
  • Tobin, Gary A. and Sharon L. Sassler Jewish Perceptions of Antisemitism, New York: Plenum Press, c1988
  • Volkman, Ernest A Legacy of Hate: Anti-Semitism in America, New York: F. Watts, 1982

Further reading

  1. ^ a b c d e
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ Krefetz, 1985
  6. ^ Goldberg, Michelle. Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2006. pp. 186-187.
  7. ^ a b c d e
  8. ^ a b c d
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  12. ^ a b c
  13. ^ a b
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  15. ^ Modern Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israeli Attitudes, Florette Cohen, Department of Psychology, The College of Staten Island, City University New York; Lee Jussim, Department of Psychology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick; Kent D. Harber, Department of Psychology, Rutgers University, Newark; Gautam Bhasin, Department of Counseling, Columbia Teacher's College, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2009, Vol. 97, No. 2, 290–306 [1]
  16. ^ Antisemitism In The Contemporary World. Edited by Michael Curtis. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1986, 333 pp., $42.50. ISBN 0-8133-0157-2.
  17. ^ Extremism in America - About Westboro Baptist Church
  18. ^ a b
  19. ^
  20. ^ H-Antisemitism Occasional Papers, NO. 1M
  21. ^ Nation of Islam
  22. ^
  23. ^ Farrakhan and the Jewish Rift; A Historic Reference
  24. ^ The Final Call, February 16, 1994
  25. ^ a b c
  26. ^ a b
  27. ^ a b c Nagourney, Adam (2010-12-10) In Tapes, Nixon Rails About Jews and Blacks, New York Times
  28. ^ U.S. Commission on Civil Rights: Findings and Recommendations Regarding Campus Antisemitism PDF (19.3 KiB). April 3, 2006
  29. ^
  30. ^ On Campus: The Pro-Palestinian's Real Agenda, March 24, Khaled Abu Toameh, [2]
  31. ^ Calif. resolution denouncing anti-Semitism on college campuses targets anti-Israel protests
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  41. ^ Sources for the following are:
    • Bauer, Yehuda. "Problems of Contemporary Anti-Semitism" at the Wayback Machine (archived July 5, 2003), 2003, retrieved April 22, 2006.
    • Chesler, Phyllis. The New Anti-Semitism: The Current Crisis and What We Must Do About It, Jossey-Bass, 2003, pp. 158-159, 181.
    • Doward, Jamie. Jews predict record level of hate attacks: Militant Islamic media accused of stirring up new wave of anti-semitism, The Guardian, August 8, 2004.
    • Kinsella, Warren. The New anti-Semitism, accessed March 5, 2006.
    • Sacks, Jonathan. "The New Antisemitism", Ha'aretz, September 6, 2002, retrieved on January 10, 2007.
    • Strauss, Mark. "Antiglobalism's Jewish Problem" in Rosenbaum, Ron (ed). Those who forget the past: The Question of Anti-Semitism, Random House 2004, p 272.
  42. ^ "The echoes of Lindbergh's 1941 speech charging 'the Jews' with dragging America into war can be heard in our own time.
  43. ^ Rafael Medoff, President Lindbergh? Roth's New Novel Raises Questions About Antisemitism in the 1940s--and Today, David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, September 2004. Retrieved June 20, 2007.
  44. ^ , Appendix V, Segment 20Necessary IllusionsNoam Chomsky,
  45. ^
  46. ^ UCR Hate Crime Statistics, 2002 to 2008
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  97. ^
  98. ^
  99. ^
  100. ^
  101. ^ a b Adam Tamburin, Swastikas painted in Jewish fraternity at Vanderbilt, The Tennessean, March 17, 2015
  102. ^ a b Reuters, Three swastikas were spray-painted in a Jewish fraternity at Vanderbilt University, Business Insider, March 27, 2015
  103. ^ a b Reuters, Vanderbilt University investigating Swastikas painted in Jewish fraternity, The Jerusalem Post, 03/17/2015
  104. ^ Paul Miller, ANTI-SEMITISM COMES TO VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY, Breitbart, March 17, 2015


See also

In March 2015, three swastikas were found spray-painted in the elevator and basement inside the house of Alpha Epsilon Pi, a Jewish fraternity on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.[101][102][103] The campus Hillel chapter called it "a malicious attack intended to bring to mind the horrors of the Holocaust, to force us to feel different, endangered and isolated."[104] The news, characterized as a "hate crime" by university officials, made national and international headlines, including in Israel.[101][102][103]

January 2015 started with some antisemitic graffiti throughout the country, such as antisemitic writing on a car[96] and on an elevator's button.[97] On February that year there were more antisemitic graffiti and harassment. In a neighborhood in Sacramento, California Israeli flags with a swastika instead of Star of David were hung out of a house. An American flag with a swastika on it was also taped to the house's door.[98] Earlier that month there were two incidents of antisemitic graffiti outside and inside the Jewish fraternity house at UC Davis.[99] In Lakewood, NJ a Jewish-owned store was targeted with graffiti. That followed several other antisemitic messages found spray-painted and carved around town.[100]

During December 2014 a Jewish Israeli young man was stabbed in his neck while standing outside of the Chabad-Lubavitch building in New-York City.[91] Another antisemitic incident in New York occurred when a threatening photo was sent to a Hasidic lawmaker in suburban Rockland County. The photo showed the lawmaker's head pasted on the body of a person beheaded by the Islamic State jihadist group.[92] Besides those incidents, several instances of antisemitic graffiti have been found across the country,[93] and a couple of synagogues were vandalised in Chicago[94] and Ocala, Florida[95]

On the beginning of November 2014 there had been an "ANTI-JEW PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN" in New Hampshire. As part of it, signs with the phrase "with Jews we lose" were hanged on the roadsides of the area.[84] Also, there had been three antisemitic incidents at Hanover Park High School, including a swastika graffiti.[85] Two antisemitic graffiti were found in Staten Island[86] and in Bethesda,[87] one of them said "Jews die" in German, and the other one was: “JEWS=WAR + MONEY”. An additional graffiti incident occurred in Northeastern University, where swastikas drawn on flayers for a school event.[88] Towards the end of the month two antisemitic attacks occurred in Brooklyn, in both cases the victim was a Hasidic Jewish man.[89][90]

October 2014 started with an antisemitic slur from a coffee shop owner in Bushwick who wrote on Facebook and Twitter that ‘Greedy infiltrators' Jewish people came to buy a house near his business.[80] Later that month, two synagogues were desecrated in Akron, Ohio and in Spokane, Washington. One of them was sprayed with swastika graffiti[81] and the other one was damaged by a vandal.[82] During the month there was also a physical attack, when the head of Hebrew association was beaten outside Barclays Center after a Nets-Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball game. The attacker was a participant of a pro-Palestinian demonstration outside the hall.[83]

On the beginning of September 2014 there were more than 6 incidents of antisemitic graffiti across the country,[74] three of them outside religious buildings such as synagogue or a Yeshiva.[75] Most of the drawings included swastika inscriptions, and one of them had the words “Murder the Jew tenant”.[76] Later that month another antisemitic graffiti was found on the Jewish Community Center in Boulder, Colorado.[77] Then, a few days later a violent attack occurred in Baltimore, Maryland, when during Rosh Hashanah a man who drove near the Jewish school shot three men after shouting "Jews, Jews, Jews".[78] Towards the end of the month a Rabbi was thrown out of a Greek restaurant when the owner found out he's Jewish. Moreover, the owner suggested him a "full size salad" or "Jewish size salad" which according to him means "cheap and small".[79]

On August 2014 there were two incidents, in Los Angeles and Chicago, where leaflets from the Nazi era in Germany got resurrected. In Westwood, near the UCLA campus, a Jewish store owner got swastika-marked leaflets containing threats and warnings.[68] A few days earlier, during a pro-Palestinian rally in Chicago antisemitic leaflets were handed out to passersby. Those leaflets were exactly the same Nazi's propaganda used in 1930's Germany.[69] Besides the above, there were more than six[70] incidents of graffiti and vandalism aimed to Jewish population in various cities in the United States. Some of the graffiti compared Israel to Nazi Germany, referring to Israel actions during Protective Edge, an operation started in response to Hamas rockets and tunnels against Israel.[71] There was also an antisemitic attack of four Orthodox Jewish teens in Borough Park, Brooklyn towards the mid-month.[72] Another physical attack occurred in the Upper East Side where a gang of thugs attacked young Jewish couple and then ran away in vehicles flying Palestinian flags.[73]

On July 2014, as a result of operation Protective edge in Gaza there was an increase in the occurrence of Antisemitic incidents. In the beginning of the month an antisemitic banner flown above Brighton Beach and Coney Island. The banner contained symbols that meant "peace plus swastika equals love". The word "PROSWASTIKA" also appeared on the banner.[56] Additionally, there were more than 5 incidents of antisemitic graffiti across the country. In Borough Park, New York, three men were arrested for vandalizing a Yeshiva property and a nearby house in the Jewish neighborhood by spraying swastikas and inscriptions such as "you don't belong here".[57] Later that month swastika drawings were found on mail boxes near a national Jewish fraternity house in Eugene, Oregon.[58] Swastika drawings and the phrase 'kill Jews' were found on a playground floor in Riverdale, Bronx.[59] There were also two incidents of graffiti in Clarksville, Tennessee and Lowell, Massachusetts [60][61] Moreover, an attack on Hasidic young man accoured in Staten Island, NY when a passing car threw eggs and fast food drinks at him and yelled antisemitic slurs.[62] Some vandalism incidents occurred in cemetery in Massachusetts[63] and in country club in Frontenac, Missouri.[64] Toward the end of the month there were two places where the word 'Hamas' was scribbled on Jewish property and on a Synagogue.[65][66] In addition, in direct with the operation in Gaza, anti-Jewish leaflets found on cars in Jewish neighborhood in Chicago. The leaflets threaten violence if Israel does not pull out of Gaza.[67]

On June 2014 there were several antisemitic hate crimes. A swastika and other antisemitic graffiti were scrawled onto a streetside directional sign in San Francisco.[53] Another graffiti found at the Sanctuary Lofts Apartments in San Marcos, Texas, where a graffiti artist drew antisemitic, satanic and racist symbols inside the apartment complex.[54] Towards the end of the month a young Jewish boy was attacked while he was leaving his home in Brooklyn. The suspect, who was on a bike, opened his hand while passing and struck the victim in the face, then yelled antisemitic slurs.[55]

On May 2014 a Jewish mother from Chicago accused a group of students at her eighth-grade son's school of bullying and antisemitism. They used the multi-player video game Clash of Clans to create a group called "Jews Incinerator" and described themselves: "we are a friendly group of racists with one goal- put all Jews into an army camp until disposed of. Sieg! Heil!". Two students wrote apology letters.[51][52]

On April 1, 2014, a racist man, former member of the Ku Klux Klan, arrived at the Jewish center of Kansas City and murdered 3 people, two of them were on their way to the church.[49] After his capture the suspect was heard saying "Heil Hitler".[50]

Antisemitic Incidents

On April 2015 the Anti defamation league published its 2014 audit of antisemitic incidents. According to it, there were 912 anti-Semitic incidents across the U.S. during 2014. This represents a 21 percent increase from the 751 incidents reported during the same period in 2013. Most of the incidents (513) belong to the category of "Harassments, threats and events". Another finding of the audit shows that most of the vandalism incidents occurred in public area (35%). A review of the results shows that during operation Protective Edge there was a significant increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents, compared to the rest of the year. As usual, highest totals of antisemitic incidents have been found in states where there is a large Jewish population: New York State- 231 incidents, California- 184 incidents, New Jersey- 107 incidents, Florida- 70 incidents. In all of this states, more antisemitic incidents were counted in 2014 than last year.[48]

On April 2014 the Anti defamation league published its 2013 audit of antisemitic incidents that pointed out a decline of 19 percent in antisemitic records. The total number of antisemitic attacks across the U.S. was 751, including 31 physical assaults, 315 incidents of vandalism, and 405 cases of harassment.[47]

  Private residence (22%)
  College Campus (7%)
  Jewish Institution / School (11%)
  Non-Jewish School (12%)
  Public area (35%)
  Private Building / Area (12%)
  Cemetery (1%)

Data from 2002 to 2008 showed a fluctuating but mostly steady amount of antisemitic hate crimes in the U.S. For example, 1,039 such incidents occurred in 2002 compared to 1,027 in 2006 and 1,055 in 2008.[46]

Escalating hate crimes targeting Jews and other minority groups prompted passage of the federal Hate Crimes Statistics Act in 1990 and spurred 41 state legislatures, as of 1998, to enact a patchwork of laws providing for police training about bias crimes, stiffer jail terms for perpetrators, and mandatory hate-crimes data collection by law enforcement. From 1979 to 1989 the ADL recorded more than 9,617 antisemitic incidents, including 6,400 cases of vandalism, bombings and attempted bombings, arsons and attempted arsons, and cemetery desecrations. The tally peaked at 2,066 in 1994, but declined over the next three years, consistent with the downward trend in national crime statistics. According to 1996 Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics, of 8,759 hate crimes recorded that year, 13% were antisemitic.

Statistics and analysis

Hate crimes against Jews in the U.S.

Yehuda Bauer, Professor of Holocaust Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has argued that the concept of a "new antisemitism" is essentially false since it is in fact an alternative form of the old antisemitism of previous decades, which he believes remains latent at times but recurs whenever it is triggered. In his view, the current trigger is the Israeli situation; if a compromise making ground in the Arab-Israeli peace process were achieved, he believes that antisemitism would decline but not disappear.

Noted critics of Israel, such as Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein, question the extent of new antisemitism in the United States. Chomsky has written in his work Necessary Illusions that the Anti-Defamation League casts any question of pro-Israeli policy as antisemitism, conflating and muddling issues as even Zionists receive the allegation.[44] Finkelstein has stated that supposed "new antisemitism" is a preposterous concept advanced by the ADL to combat critics of Israeli policy.[45]

Criticism of "new antisemitism" findings in the United States

In the context of the "Global Charles Lindbergh's 1941 claim before the US entered World War II that a Jewish minority was pushing America into a war against its interests.[42] During 2004, a number of prominent public figures accused Jewish members of the Bush administration of tricking America into war against Saddam Hussein to help Israel. U.S. Senator Ernest Hollings (D-South Carolina) claimed that the US action against Saddam was undertaken 'to secure Israel.' Television talk show host Pat Buchanan said a 'cabal' had managed 'to snare our country in a series of wars that are not in America's interests.'[43] Hollings wrote an editorial in the May 6, 2004 Charleston Post and Courier, where he argued that Bush invaded Iraq possibly because "spreading democracy in the Mideast to secure Israel would take the Jewish vote from the Democrats."

In recent years some scholars have advanced the concept of New antisemitism, coming simultaneously from the Far Left, the far right, and radical Islam, which tends to focus on opposition to the creation of a Jewish homeland in the State of Israel, and argue that the language of Anti-Zionism and criticism of Israel are used to attack the Jews more broadly. In this view, the proponents of the new concept believe that criticisms of Israel and Zionism are often disproportionate in degree and unique in kind, and attribute this to antisemitism.[41]

New antisemitism

A survey published in February 2015 by Trinity College and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law found out that 54 percent of the participants had been subject to or witnessing antisemitism on their campus. The survey included 1,157 self-identified Jewish students at 55 campuses nationwide. The most significant origin for antisemitim, according to the survey was "from an individual student" (29 percent). Other origins were: In clubs/ societies, in lecture/ class, in student union, etc. The findings of the research compared to a parallel study conducted in United kingdom, and the results were similar.[39][40]

On October 2014 fliers were handed out in the University of California in Santa Barbara that claimed “9/11 Was an Outside Job” with a large blue Star of David. The fliers contained links to several websites that accusing Israel of the attack.[37] A few days later an antisemitic graffiti was found on Jewish fraternity house in Emory University in Atlanta.[38]

During September 2014 there were three cases of antisemitism in College campuses, two of them in East Carolina University. On the beginning of the month two students sprayed swastika on the apartment door of a Jewish student.[34] Couple of weeks later an antisemitic message was found on bathroom wall at the university dorms.[35] Another incident occurred in the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, when a Jewish student was told “to go burn in an oven.” The student had also told the media she is 'hunted' because of her support in Israel: "I have been called a terrorist, baby killer, woman killer, [told that] I use blood to make matzah and other foods, Christ killer, occupier, and much more.” [36]

The Vassar Students for Justice in Palestine published a Nazi World War II propaganda poster on May 2014. The poster displays Jews as part of a monster who tries to destroy the world. Vassar college president Catharine Hill, denounced the poster.[32] A few months later, a physical attack occurred in Philadelphia, when a Jewish student on the campus of Temple University was assaulted and punched in the face by a member of the organization Students for Justice in Palestine.[33]

On August 2012, the California state assembly approved a resolution that "encourages university leaders to combat a wide array of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel actions."[31]

According to Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Toameh, political activity focused on the Middle East on American college campuses "is not about supporting the Palestinians as much as it is about promoting hatred for the Jewish state."[30]

On April 3, 2006, the [29]

College campuses

Although mostly kept in private, rumors about Nixon's viewpoints hurt him somewhat politically and also exasperated colleagues such as Arthur Burns, the then Federal Reserve chairman who found Nixon's talk odious.[7] Nixon told his adviser Charles Colson that "[t]he Jews are just a very aggressive and abrasive and obnoxious personality." He also suggested that Jews as a group were unwilling to serve in the military and more likely to desert, claiming that "I didn't notice many Jewish names coming back from Vietnam on any of those lists; I don't know how the hell they avoid it". Nixon additionally said, "If you look at the Canadian-Swedish contingent, they were very disproportionately Jewish. The deserters."[27] He and his aides seemed to make a distinction between Israeli Jews, whom Nixon at least partly admired, and American Jews.[27] However, Nixon used actions by specific Jews that he had heard about to reinforce his belief that the whole group deserved his scorn and hatred.[7]

Former President Richard Nixon's antisemitism has been heavily documented, with academic David Greenberg noting Nixon's historical "reputation as a hateful, vindictive anti-Semite".[7] Nixon believed that "[m]ost Jewish people are insecure" and "that's why they have to prove things."[27] In addition, he expressed paranoia that a "Jewish cabal" at the Bureau of Labor Statistics manipulated economic data against him, and he ordered the creation of a secret tally of Jews within the agency.[7]

Famous radio preacher World War II.[26] Despite his demagogic fame involving praise of Adolf Hitler's rule in Nazi Germany,[8] Coughlin sometimes denied that he supported antisemitism, the radical Catholic priest saying that he wanted "good Jews" to be with him.[25] Coughlin's hateful preaching received strong denunciations by publications such as the Jewish Telegraphic Agency as well as by prominent American Catholics such as Frank J. Hogan, the then president of the American Bar Association.[25] Previously an obscure figure, Coughlin's radio show picked up an audience that was around 40 million strong at its peak, but the entrance of the U.S. into the fight against the Axis powers and the surge of anti-Nazi sentiment destroyed his success, leading him back into obscurity.[8]

Avowed American antisemites

The Nation of Islam has repeatedly denied charges of antisemitism,[23] and leader Minister Louis Farrakhan has stated, "The ADL... uses the term 'anti-Semitism' to stifle all criticism of Zionism and the Zionist policies of the State of Israel and also to stifle all legitimate criticism of the errant behavior of some Jewish people toward the non-Jewish population of the earth."[24]

In December 2012, the [22]

A number of Jewish organizations, Christian organizations, Muslim organizations, and academics consider the Nation of Islam to be antisemitic. Specifically, they claim that the Nation of Islam has engaged in revisionist and antisemitic interpretations of the Holocaust and exaggerates the role of Jews in the African slave trade.[20] The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) alleges that NOI Health Minister, Abdul Alim Muhammad, has accused Jewish doctors of injecting blacks with the AIDS virus.[21]

Nation of Islam

In a 1967 New York Times Magazine article entitled "Negroes are Anti-Semitic Because They're Anti-White," the African-American author James Baldwin sought to explain the prevalence of black antisemitism.[19] Although the 1998 ADL survey found a strong correlation between education level and antisemitism among African Americans, blacks at all education levels were still more likely than whites to accept anti-Jewish stereotypes. These have figured prominently in the rhetoric of some black leaders, most notably the influential Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam.

In spite of the strong Jewish participation in the African American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, the Black power movement introduced considerable friction into African American–Jewish relations.

Personal backgrounds play a huge role in terms of holding prejudiced versus tolerant views. Among black Americans with no college education, 43% fell into the most antisemitic group (versus 18% for the general population) compared to that being only 27% among blacks with some college education and just 18% among blacks with a four-year college degree (versus 5% for the general population). That data from the ADL's 1998 polling research shows a clear pattern.[1]

According to earlier ADL research, going back to 1964, the trend that African-Americans are significantly more likely than white Americans to hold antisemitic beliefs across all education levels has remained over the years. Nonetheless, the percentage of the population holding negative beliefs against Jews has waned considerably in the black community during this period as well. An ADL poll from 1992 stated that 37% of African-Americans surveyed displayed antisemitism;[1] in contrast, a poll from 2011 found that only 29% did so.[18]

Surveys done by the ADL in 2007, 2009, and 2011 all found that the large majority of African-Americans questioned rejected antisemitism and expressed the same kind of generally tolerant viewpoints as the rest of the Americans surveyed. For example, their 2009 study reported that 28% of African-Americans surveyed displayed antisemitic views while a 72% majority did not. However, those three surveys all found that negative attitudes towards Jews were stronger among African-Americans than among the general population at large.[18]

African-American community

The founding (1979) of the California-based Institute for Holocaust Review helped popularize the antisemitic notion that the Holocaust was a hoax. During the mid-1980s, groups like the

The 1998 ADL survey also found a correlation between antisemitism and sympathy for right-wing anti-government groups. Although antisemitism has declined over the past 35 years, the activities of some antisemitic groups have intensified, possibly a result of increasing marginalization of antisemitic viewpoints. From 1974 to 1979, membership in the Ku Klux Klan rose from a historic all-time low of 1,500 to 11,500, and throughout the 1980s various Klan factions allied themselves with more explicitly neo-Nazi groups like the Aryan Nations.

There are a number of antisemitic organizations in the United States, some of them violent, that emphasize white supremacy. These include the Christian Identity Churches, the Aryan-White Resistance, the Ku Klux Klan, and the American Nazis, among others. Several fundamentalist churches, such as the Westboro Baptist Church, also preach antisemitic messages. The largest neo-Nazis are the National Nazi Party and the National Socialist Movement. Many of these antisemitic groups shave their heads and tattoo themselves with Nazi symbolism such as swastikas, SS, and "Heil Hitler". Antisemitic groups march and preach antisemitic messages throughout America.[17]

Antisemitic organizations

A survey done in 1994 by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) found that denial was only a tiny fringe position, with 91% of respondents agreeing with the validity of the Holocaust.[4]

One of the new forms of antisemitism is the denial of the Holocaust by revisionist historians and neo-Nazis.[16] Holocaust denial serves as a powerful conspiracy theory uniting otherwise disparate fringe groups.

Holocaust denial in the United States

Escalating hate crimes targeting Jews and other minority groups prompted passage of the federal Hate Crime Statistics Act in 1990 and spurred 41 state legislatures, as of 1998, to enact a patchwork of laws providing for police training about bias crimes, stiffer jail terms for perpetrators, and mandatory hate-crimes data collection by law enforcement. From 1979 to 1989 the ADL recorded more than 9,617 antisemitic incidents, including 6,400 cases of vandalism, bombings and attempted bombings, arsons and attempted arsons, and cemetery desecrations. The tally peaked at 2,066 in 1994, but declined over the next three years, consistent with the downward trend in national crime statistics. According to 1996 Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics, of 8,759 hate crimes recorded that year, 13% were antisemitic.

However, another survey by the Anti-Defamation League showed that the number of antisemitic incidents has risen continuously since 1986 with only one decline in 1992. One explanation for the seeming contradiction between the two sets of data is, on the one hand, an increase in the rate of general violence in the United States and the emergence of groups such as extremist skinheads, and, on the other hand, an intensification of anti-Jewish hostility among African Americans.

Antisemitic incidents

An ABC News report in 2007 recounted that past ABC polls across several years have tended to find that about 6% of Americans self-report prejudice against Jews as compared to about 25% being against Arab Americans and about 10% against Hispanic Americans. The report also remarked that a full 34% of Americans reported "some racist feelings" in general as a self-description.[2]

The 2011 Survey of American Attitudes Toward Jews in America released by the ADL found that the recent philo-Semitic sentiments such as 64% agreeing that Jews have contributed much to U.S. social culture.[3]

A 2009 study entitled "Modern Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israeli Attitudes", published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2009, tested new theoretical model of anti-Semitism among Americans in the Greater New York area with 3 experiments. The research team's theoretical model proposed that mortality salience (reminding people that they will someday die) increases anti-Semitism and that anti-Semitism is often expressed as anti-Israel attitudes. The first experiment showed that mortality salience led to higher levels of anti-Semitism and lower levels of support for Israel. The study's methodology was designed to tease out anti-Semitic attitudes that are concealed by polite people . The second experiment showed that mortality salience caused people to perceive Israel as very important, but did not cause them to perceive any other country this way. The third experiment showed that mortality salience led to a desire to punish Israel for human rights violations but not to a desire to punish Russia or India for identical human rights violations. According to the researchers, their results "suggest that Jews constitute a unique cultural threat to many people's worldviews, that anti-Semitism causes hostility to Israel, and that hostility to Israel may feed back to increase anti-Semitism." Furthermore, "those claiming that there is no connection between antisemitism and hostility toward Israel are wrong."[15]

The survey findings come at a time of increased antisemitic activity in America. The 2004 ADL Audit of Antisemitic Incidents reported that antisemitic incidents reached their highest level in nine years. A total of 1,821 antisemitic incidents were reported in 2004, an increase of 17 percent over the 1,557 incidents reported during 2003.[14]

The 2005 Anti-Defamation League survey includes data on Hispanic attitudes, with 29% being most antisemitic (vs. 9% for whites and 36% for blacks); being born in the United States helped alleviate this attitude: 35% of foreign-born Hispanics, but only 19% of those born in the US.[13]

The 2005 survey found "35 percent of foreign-born Hispanics" and 36 percent of African-Americans hold strong antisemitic beliefs, four times more than the 9 percent for whites".[13]

"What concerns us is that many of the gains we had seen in building a more tolerant and accepting America seem not to have taken hold as firmly as we had hoped," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "While there are many factors at play, the findings suggest that antisemitic beliefs endure and resonate with a substantial segment of the population, nearly 35 million people."

The number of Americans holding antisemitic views declined markedly six years later when another ADL study classified only 12 percent of the population—between 20 to 25 million adults—as "most antisemitic." Confirming the findings of previous surveys, both studies also found that African Americans were significantly more likely than whites to hold antisemitic views, with 34 percent of blacks classified as "most antisemitic," compared to 9 percent of whites in 1998.[12] The 2005 Survey of American Attitudes Towards Jews in America, a national poll of 1,600 American adults conducted in March 2005, found that 14% of Americans - or nearly 35 million adults - hold views about Jews that are "unquestionably antisemitic," compared to 17% in 2002, Previous ADL surveys over the last decade had indicated that antisemitism was in decline. In 1998, the number of Americans with hardcore antisemitic beliefs had dropped to 12% from 20% in 1992.


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