US poll: 65% believe anti-Semitism a serious problem in country

41% say criticism of Israeli policies stems from human rights concerns, while 32% attribute it to anti-Jewish hatred

Illustrative: Anti-Semitic graffiti is seen on the wall of a reform synagogue in Seattle, March 2017. (YouTube screenshot)
Illustrative: Anti-Semitic graffiti is seen on the wall of a reform synagogue in Seattle, March 2017. (YouTube screenshot)

Nearly two-thirds of US voters see anti-Semitism as a serious problem in America, according to a Thursday poll by Rasmussen Reports.

According to the survey, 65 percent believe anti-Jewish hatred is a serious problem, with 24% saying it’s “very serious.”

The poll also found that nearly one-third (32%) of US voters believe criticism of Israeli government policies stems from anti-Semitic feeling, while 41% say it comes from human rights concerns.

The survey was conducted on 1,000 eligible US voters between July 10-11, with a margin of error of +/-3 percentage points.

“These findings are consistent with our research showing that Americans are still very much concerned about anti-Semitism and the safety of the Jewish community,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, Anti-Defamation League CEO, in a statement.

“The increase in overt anti-Semitic acts around the country and the proliferation of hate speech aimed at Jews online is clearly on the minds of many Americans. We call on political and civic leaders to step up and confront the problem. We will be there with them every step of the way,” said Greenblatt.

ADL data in April said anti-Semitic incidents in the United States saw a massive spike of 86 percent in the first quarter of 2017.

The Jewish civil rights group’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents found 541 reported anti-Semitic incidents in the first four months of the current year, including 380 episodes of harassment, 161 bomb threats to Jewish institutions and 155 cases of anti-Jewish vandalism.

In March, an 18-year-old Israeli hacker from Ashkelon was arrested on suspicion of carrying out many of the bomb threats, some of them in exchange for money.

The incidents took place throughout the country, with the majority concentrated in areas with large Jewish populations, including California (211 incidents), New York (199), New Jersey (157), Florida (137) and Massachusetts (125).

Eric Cortellessa contributed to this report.

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