Anti-Semitism in America: An Overview
When addressing anti-Semitism, the spotlight falls directly on the holocaust and Nazi Germany then, once ‘modernized’, on Muslims compulsory hatred toward Jews. From a non-American perspective, my impression was that anti-Semitic manifestations are either marginal or a motive for humour in the United States – cf. Comedy central comics: Mac Farlane’s “American Dad” or “Family Guy” –. The emphasis is rather put on the successful integration of the Jewish community living in the US: they are basically highly educated democrats, holding influential positions, and earning a good living. However and even in America, anti-Semitism is still a topical issue: it covers a wide range of events from the usual demeaning stereotypes to the daily incidents against individuals and Jewish institutions to insidious conspiracy theories about Jews.
First of all, it is worth pointing at the Anti-Defamation League’s survey of “American Attitudes toward Jews” (2009) which has found that “12% of Americans hold anti-Semitic views, a decline from 15% in 2007 and matching lowest figure ever recorded by ADL”. Still, ADL argues that one “can't dismiss that 12% of the American people means that there are still over 30 million Americans that hold anti-Semitic views”. The survey’s findings highlight specific population segments prone to hold and perpetuate anti-Semitic beliefs: these are more likely to be foreign-born Hispanic and African American men with low educational level (ADL). Nevertheless, these segments are not exclusive and anti-Semitism arises even within white Christian communities.
Second, the survey’s results are the reflection of the mainstream stereotypes of Jews as depicted by non-Jews Americans. The latter includes statement regarding the overly influential power hold by the Jewish intelligentsia, their greed and dishonesty in business, and their unconditional loyalty to Israel assimilated to treason toward the US (ADL). In...