I’m preparing to teach a class on anti-Semitism. It’s an important class for my Intro students, even if I don’t like talking about it.
If you want the short version of what I teach in class, you can read it in another blog post. But today, as I was preparing, I discovered a great new resource online, the ADL Global 100. For the first time, the Anti-Defamation League commissioned an independent research firm to survey adults in over 100 countries. (Previously, their survey covered only the U.S.)
The survey itself was interesting. People were read 11 statements, to which they responded “true” or “false.” If they answered “true” to six or more of the statements, they were counted as having anti-Semitic attitudes. The complete list along with the methodology is on the website, but to give you a feel for it, here are six of the statements:
- Jews only care about their own kind.
- People hate Jews because of the way Jews behave.
- Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars.
- Jews have too much power in the business world.
- Jews are more loyal to Israel than they are to the country they live in.
- Jews have too much control of the U.S. government.
To count as having anti-Semitic beliefs, they have to answer “true” to six of eleven statements similar to those. Again, the complete list of survey statements is on the ADL Global100 website.
So what were the results? 26% of adults world-wide have anti-Semitic beliefs, as measured by the survey. Nine percent of adults in the United States hold such beliefs. Before Americans congratulate themselves, remember, that translates to 21,000,000 people.
You can click around on the survey and find out the percentage for each continent and for each country. It’s fascinating reading. For instance, why is it that in the U.S., men and women have anti-Semitic beliefs at the same rate, but in Australia and New Zealand, men have those beliefs at a higher rate than women? Why does Panama far outstrip all other countries in the Americas, with a rate of 52%? What would account for the low rate in the Philippines, only 3%?
Perhaps if we could answer those questions, we might be on the way to ending it.