Nearly half of Americans have never heard of anti-Semitism or are unfamiliar with the term, according to a recent poll.
The American Jewish Committee released survey results of their “State of Antisemitism in America” report earlier this week showing 21 percent of those polled had never heard of the term anti-Semitism, and 25 percent had heard the term but did not know what it means.
The timing of the report is significant as Tuesday marks two years since the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh that resulted in 11 dead and six wounded.
The Tree of Life shooting marked the deadliest attack against Jews on U.S. soil.
The survey also asked American Jews if they felt anti-Semitism has grown in the U.S. within the last five years.
82 percent said it has increased either a lot or somewhat.
22 percent of American Jewish participants said they have experienced some form of anti-Semitism on a college campus over the past five years.
“The central message of the ACJ report is that the level of concern about antisemitism is high,” David Harris, CEO of the AJC, said to The Foreign Desk
Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of participants said they did not know much or anything at all about the Holocaust.
“There is a close correlation between ignorance about antisemitism and levels of education. The less formal education, the higher level of ignorance,” Harris said.
President and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America Eric Fingerhut confirms anti-Semitism is growing on college campuses.
“The fact is that the atmosphere on too many campuses has grown increasingly challenging, and what was once excused as criticism of Israeli policy has clearly moved into blatant antisemitism,” said Fingerhut to The Jerusalem Post.
The statement “Israel has no right to exist” is considered anti-Semitic by 85 percent of American Jewish survey participants.
“The findings presented in this report should trouble all Americans. Jews continue to feel vulnerable and under attack in America,” Harris said.
“This information is being shared with government agencies, social media companies, elected officials, and community partners. Reliable, comprehensive data is necessary for developing effective, multi-pronged strategies to respond to a growing threat.”