A US survey reveals that about 39% of American Jews changed their behaviour out of fear of antisemitism.
The American Jewish Committee released its 2021 ‘State of Antisemitism in America’ report on Tuesday, which reveals that American Jews are deeply concerned about antisemitism and change their behaviour accordingly.
The survey was carried out by the independent research firm SSRS and was based on interviews conducted by telephone or online. Both groups of respondents (1,433 Jews and 1,214 from the general public) were asked about their perceptions and experiences of antisemitism over the past 12 months, including during the conflict between Israel and Hamas in May.
The survey found that some 39% of American Jews have changed their behaviour out of fear of antisemitism. Out of this percentage, 25% avoided posting content online that would enable others to identify them as Jewish or reveal their views on Jewish issues; 22% avoided wearing or displaying things that might allow others to identify them as Jewish; and 17% avoided certain places, events, or situations due to concerns about their safety or comfort as Jews.
Within the 24% of American Jews who claimed to have been targets of antisemitism over the past 12 months, some 17% said they were targeted with antisemitic remarks in person, 12% were the targets of antisemitism online or on social media, and 3% reported being the victims of physical assaults. The survey reveals that 41% of the general public have witnessed an antisemitic incident in the last 12 months, with 31% having seen more than one. According to the survey, many of these incidents go unreported.
There seems to be a difference in the perspective of US Jews and the general public regarding the increase of antisemitism. While 82% of Jews believe that antisemitism has increased over the past five years, only 44% of the general public share this view.
The survey found that a third of Americans over the age of 18 don’t know what the term antisemitism means, while the remaining two-thirds are familiar with the term, which is an increase compared to last year’s results.
„That one in four American Jews has been the target of antisemitism over the past year alone, and that four out of ten have taken steps to conceal their Jewishness or curtail their activities as a result, should alarm all Americans,” AJC CEO David Harris said in a statement.