A huge majority of American Jews feel “less safe” in the United States in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas pogrom in Israel, the worst outburst of antisemitic violence since the Holocaust.
A new survey released on Tuesday by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) found that 78 percent of respondents felt more insecure following the pogrom executed by Hamas terrorists, in which more than 1,200 people were murdered and over 200 taken hostage amid atrocities that included mass rape and mutilation of victims.
The survey — conducted for the AJC’s “2023 State of Antisemitism Report” — also revealed that 63 percent of American Jews believe that their overall status in the US is “less safe,” compared with 41 percent in 2022 and 31 percent in 2021. The AJC has been carrying out the annual survey since 2019.
Some incidents impacted people mourning friends or relatives who lost their lives during the Hamas atrocities. “I was at an outdoor vigil mourning the murdered Israelis and three separate times, people drove past yelling out their car window ‘Kill them all’ among other things,” one respondent recalled.
“The release of the data, from surveys done in the fall of 2023, comes four months after the Hamas terror attack on Israel on October 7 … at a time when the global Jewish community is experiencing a dramatic surge in antisemitism,” the AJC observed in an accompanying statement.
Fear of antisemitism led 46 percent of the US Jews surveyed to change their behavior, the report noted.
“With nearly half of American Jews reporting they changed their behavior in the past year because of fear of antisemitism, we need to take action – now,” said AJC CEO Ted Deutch. “AJC’s report also found that over the last year, 4 in 10 Jewish college students have felt the consequences of antisemitism, with one-in-five saying they have been excluded from a group or event because they are Jewish. This should alarm everyone especially with the dramatic increase of antisemitic activity on college campuses that has continued into 2024.”
At the same time, awareness of the problem of antisemitism has increased significantly among non-Jews, the survey discovered. Nearly three quarters of US adults surveyed acknowledged that hatred and hostility to Jews “is a problem” while 92 percent expressed agreement with the statement, “Everyone is responsible for combating antisemitism.”
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Author: Ben Cohen
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