Pollster: ADL Anti-Semitism Survey Reflects Growing Tolerance for All Minorities, But Anti Jewish Prejudices Persist

October 31, 2013 6:13 pm 11 comments

Anti-Defamation League.

Results of an annual Anti-Defamation League survey on American attitudes towards Jews reflects growing tolerance for all minorities, John Marttila, a survey specialist hired by the ADL, said at the group’s 2013 Centennial Meeting, in New York City on Thursday.

Speaking to ADL leaders from around the country, Marttila, the principal of Marttila Communications Group, said the results of this year’s survey correspond to lessening discrimination across the U.S., but those who profess Jew hate, continue to do so as a detailed analysis of the results shows.

Marttila said the broader societal change could be represented by the growing acceptance of homosexual marriage, for example, while changes in the demographics, including the passing of the older generation, as well as a much a higher percentage of native-born Hispanics, who, themselves, are often victims of discrimination, has had a tempering effect on the annual survey’s results.

Earlier, the ADL said this year’s survey showed that 12 per cent of Americans “harbor deeply entrenched anti-Semitic attitudes” in 2013, down from 15 per cent in 2011 and compared to 29 per cent in 1964, when the first survey was conducted. The survey was taken earlier this month by calling 1,200 adults, with 40% reached over their cellphones, reflecting changes in behavior so as to guarantee that the sample mirrored the broader population.

“Haters hate; they don’t just hate Jews, they hate a whole range of cohorts,” Marttila said, aligning with other surveys that show hatred of Jews goes inline with broader prejudices in a society. He also said that, since the first ADL survey in 1964, the education system in America has taught two generations about accepting minorities, and the results bear fruit of that change.

Answering a question about the role of religion in American society, Marttila said his research showed an interesting paradox.

“Americans want it both ways. They want a separation of church and state, but want more religion in our lives,” Marttila said.

The survey results were based on a list of 11 questions formulated by the ADL for its first survey. Respondents are asked if they agree with the following list of statements eluding to typical anti-Semitic canards:

1. Jews stick together more than other Americans.

2. Jews always like to be at the head of things.

3. Jews are more loyal to Israel than America.

4. Jews have too much power in the U.S. today.

5. Jews have too much control and influence on Wall Street.

6. Jews have too much power in the business world.

7. Jews have a lot of irritating faults.

8. Jews are more willing than others to use shady practices to get what they want.

9. Jewish business people are so shrewd that others don’t have a fair chance at competition.

10. Jews don’t care what happens to anyone but their own kind.

11. Jews are (not) just as honest as other business people.

In 2013, 52% agreed with 0-1 of the statements, meaning they were “essentially free” of anti-Semitic views; 33% agreed with 2-5 of the statements, meaning they were neither prejudiced or unprejudiced; and 12% agreed with 6 or more of the 11 statements.

Marttila said fears over Jewish power in society drive anti-Semitism in the U.S., based on the answers provided by respondents who agreed with six or more of the statements. He said 78% of them agreed with 6, about Jews and business power, 69% agreed with 5, about Jews and Wall Street, and 64% agreed with 4, about the power of Jews in the U.S.

He said that since the original 1964 survey about 30% of respondents believe in 3, that Jews have more loyalty to Israel than the U.S.

An extra question asked respondents to answer which of five lobbying organizations have the most influence on American government policy. The Oil Lobby was seen to have the most influence, chosen by 28% of respondents, followed by Big Pharma, with 24%, the National Rifle Association, with 22%, the Tobacco Indsutry, with 5% and the Pro-Israel Lobby, with only 4% of respondents choosing it as the most powerful among the five.

11 Comments

  • Jews are extremely naive. if they feel safe because of a poll they aie smoking something. people’s feelings can change rapidly and jews should know influence never gives them power becase when things get ugly as they always do for the jews is becawse tle raw power of the masses, army and police has turned on them as we know since the Pharaoh.

    it makes no sense to live within cultures capable over and over of killrng, expelling, etc jews. it makes even less sense to live among tle anglo europeans who yesterday were responsible killing 6 million jews or looking the other way.

    it is interestin how one can be so smart a lawyer, businessman, doctor, writer, scientist or lobbyist for AIPAC and so stupid about finding or creating a safe place to live. jews are resilient but history proves antisemites are just as much and have numbers on their side soonor or later.

    to believe that guilt over the holocaust somehow offers protection defies common sense because guilt can quickly morph into anger.

    besides, the poll fails to deal with the many more millions of americans who are indifferent to the fate of jews, like it happened to millions of germans, epaniards, eguptians, babylonians and on and on.

  • Excellent perspective, the questions are asked in a manner that drives the response. Anti-Semitic behavior is a problem in the world, but the nature of the questions is problematic.

  • PHIL FEINGERSH

    most anti-semitism is of inborn nature, heard from parents and “friends”. It has no legitimatfe reason to even exist. Jews are not blooidthirstgy Arabs.. -But lies are plentiful apparantly..

  • Shalom-Hillel

    I don’t like these questions. I think they themselves are introducing anti-Semitic ideas. Many of them can be turned around and most Jews would agree with them, e.g., Jews stick together more than other Americans = the Jewish community believes in self-help; or Jews always like to be the head of things = Jews are ambitious and successful.
    What these questions are doing is putting a negative spin on Jewish qualities. What if these were all framed positively and people agreed with them? Would we say philo-Semitism is increasing? Or is the very concept of “Jewish qualities” anti-Semitic now?
    Of course, there IS anti-Semitism, but these questions are poorly conceived.
    As someone else suggested, come up with better questions.

    • You are spot on with your assessment.The questions stereotype Jews
      Let the questions refer to Jews, Muslims etc. for a more accurate response

  • I agree with Alter. The questions themselves induce the respondents to agree with the stereotype presented.

    When people agree with up to 5 stereotypes, I would NOT call them “neutral, not prejudiced”.

    This survey is underestimating the animosity against Jews. Also it is well known that when people are viscerally against Israel or male ritual circumcision at an early age (which affects only Judaism) or even Kashrut, the underlying reason is they dislike Jews and their ways.

  • Daniel Birnbaum

    Alter is right (but it’s ‘disloyalty’, not ‘unloyalty’). The Pew Institute and Sofres-Taylor surveys are better measures of anti-Semitism. This ADL survey omits to ask Americans whether they believe that Jews killed Christ. A whopping 30% of those surveyed elsewhere circa 2006 answered yes. At least the ADL appears finally to have dropped the ambiguous question: “Jews spend too much time talking about the Holocaust”.

    The main trouble with the ADL is its refusal to compare American and French anti-Semitism on a large scale, out of fear that American anti-Semitism would score worse (it has already happened). This is bad for the ADL, because its fund-raising is predicated on the (false)claim that the French need education: a Sofres-Taylor poll has shown that 95% of French respondents would ALREADY consult a Jewish doctor, 92% would ALREADY work for a Jewish boss, and 87% would ALREADY welcome a Jew into their family. — Daniel Birnbaum, Paris.

    • Algemeiner Staff

      Actually, both of those questions were included in the 2013 survey.

      The ADL said 26% of all Americans agreed that, “Jews were responsible for the death of Christ.” Of those respondents who were classified in the anti-Semitic category (6+) the percentage was 57%.

      For the statement, “Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust,” 24% agreed, overall, and 66% for those in the anti-Semitic category (6+).

  • I’m far from being an analyst, but I question the wording of some of the questions, and whether or not that affected the outcome of the survey.

  • As a general rule, we should perhaps take with “a grain of salt” results elicited by a pollster asking respondents to opine about abstract matters, mostly beyond their personal experience. The more the question is about abstract matters distant from the respondent’s personal experience, the less accurate and relevant the result.

    Examples of more concrete questions closer to home would be:

    “Would you object to a close family member marrying a Jew?” The respondent evidently knows himself, his close family, the notion of marriage and perhaps also something about Jews.

    “Would you consider voting for a Jewish candidate in an election for Governor of your State?” Here, the respondent is likely to be familiar with himself, voting, elections, his State, the Governorship, and perhaps also Jews.

  • The questions are compromised with inductive reasoning asserting negative views of communitarianism, arrivism, unloyalty, greed etc. as most likely true and without evidence.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Europe Sports Croatian Soccer Star’s Hebrew Tattoo Causes a Stir Online

    Croatian Soccer Star’s Hebrew Tattoo Causes a Stir Online

    A Hebrew tattoo sported by Croatian soccer star Mario Mandzukic became an internet sensation in Israel after it was exposed on Tuesday during a Champions League match between Ateltico Madrid and Real Madrid A first glance, the tattoo, on the athlete’s back, might leave one with the impression that it was an unfortunate artistic mistake, since the Hebrew letters do not make sense as they are written. However, a closer look at the tattoo shows that it was actually written [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Theater Why an Algemeiner Editor Wrote a Play About a Mass Shooter

    Why an Algemeiner Editor Wrote a Play About a Mass Shooter

    For the past two years, I have served as Opinion Editor at The Algemeiner. I’m perhaps most proud of the paper’s commitment to publishing diverse and opposing viewpoints on the controversial issues of the day. We pride ourselves on voicing different opinions because we know that most issues are not black and white, and because our community is better served by a public debate. In my life outside of the paper, I am a professional actor and playwright. And similarly, [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Commentary In ‘America in Retreat,’ a Real-Life Risk Board

    In ‘America in Retreat,’ a Real-Life Risk Board

    JNS.org – “Risk: The Game of Strategic Conquest,” the classic Parker Brothers board game, requires imperial ambitions. Players imagine empires and are pitted against each other, vying for world domination. Amid this fictional world war, beginners learn fast that no matter the superiority of their army, every advance is a gamble determined by a roll of the dice. After a defeat, a player must retreat. Weighted reinforcement cards provide the only opportunity to reverse a player’s fortunes and resume the [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Sports Does Working Out With Other Jews Keep You Jewish?

    Does Working Out With Other Jews Keep You Jewish?

    JNS.org – For Daphna Krupp, her daily workout (excluding Shabbat) at the Jewish Community Center (JCC or “J”) of Greater Baltimore has become somewhat of a ritual. She not only attends fitness classes but also engages with the instructors and plugs the J’s social programs on her personal Facebook page. “It’s the gym and the environment,” says Krupp. “It’s a great social network.” Krupp, who lives in Pikesville, Md., is one of an estimated 1 million American Jewish members of more [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Sports Illustrated Profiles Orthodox NCAA Basketball Player Aaron Liberman

    Sports Illustrated Profiles Orthodox NCAA Basketball Player Aaron Liberman

    Sports Illustrated magazine featured an extensive profile on Orthodox-Jewish college basketball player Aaron Liberman on Wednesday.  The article details Liberman’s efforts to balance faith, academics and basketball at Tulane University, a challenge the young athlete calls “a triple major.” Sports Illustrated pointed out that Liberman is the second Orthodox student to play Division I college basketball. The other was Tamir Goodman, the so-called “Jewish Jordan.” As reported in The Algemeiner, Liberman started his NCAA career at Northwestern University. According to [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Cycling the Desert: New Israel Bike Trail Connects Mitzpe Ramon to Eilat

    Cycling the Desert: New Israel Bike Trail Connects Mitzpe Ramon to Eilat

    As the popularity of cycling continues to increase across the world, Israel is working to develop cycling trails that make the country’s spectacular desert accessible to cyclists. The southern segment of the Israel Bike Trail was inaugurated on Feb. 24 and offers for the first time a unique, uninterrupted 8-day cycling experience after six years of planning and development. The southern section of the Israel Bike Trail stretches over 300 kilometers in length and is divided into eight segments for mountain biking, [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Forthcoming Major Action Movies Inspired by Jewish Comic Artist Jack Kirby

    Forthcoming Major Action Movies Inspired by Jewish Comic Artist Jack Kirby

    JNS.org – With the recent Oscars in the rearview mirror, Hollywood’s attention now shifts to the rest of this year’s big-screen lineup. Two of the major action films coming up in 2015—Avengers: Age of Ultron, which hits theaters in May, and the third film in the Fantastic Four series, slated for an August release—have Jewish roots that the average moviegoer might be unaware of. As it turns out, it took a tough Jewish kid from New York City’s Lower East [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity When Torah Teaches Life and Life Teaches Torah (REVIEW)

    When Torah Teaches Life and Life Teaches Torah (REVIEW)

    JNS.org – Rabbi Gordon Tucker spent the first 20 years of his career teaching at the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and the next 20 years as the rabbi of Temple Israel Center in White Plains, N.Y. I confess that when I heard about the order of those events, I thought that Tucker’s move from academia to the pulpit was strange. Firstly, I could not imagine anyone filling the place of my friend, Arnold Turetsky, who was such a talented [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.