Recent statements by two well-known Americans brought headlines about the issue of antisemitism in the United States. Last week, rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, was locked out of his Twitter account after posting that he would go "death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE." Then, yesterday, former President Donald Trump posted on his Truth Social platform that American Jews must “get their act together” and show more appreciation for the state of Israel “before it is too late.”
A YouGov poll conducted after Ye's social media post but before Trump's finds that half of Americans (50%) believe antisemitism is at least a somewhat serious problem on the internet and a majority say the same about antisemitism in the U.S. more broadly (57%); 42% say it is a somewhat or very serious problem both online and in the U.S. Far fewer (24%) view it as a serious issue in their local communities. People who say antisemitism is somewhat or very serious both online and in the U.S. are evenly split about the state of their local communities: 44% say antisemitism is somewhat or very serious locally, and 44% say it is a minor problem or not a problem.
Democrats are more concerned about antisemitism than Republicans are: Compared to Republicans, Democrats are 22 percentage points more likely to say antisemitism is a serious problem online, 16 points more likely to say it is a problem in the U.S., and 15 points more likely to say it is a problem where they live.
Democrats' and Republicans' perceptions of antisemitism in their communities have changed somewhat since we last asked, in 2020. The share who say antisemitism is at least a somewhat serious problem where they live has increased 11 points among Democrats and 7 points among Republicans. There have not been significant changes in how Americans characterize the issue of antisemitism in the U.S. more broadly.
How do Americans' perceptions of discrimination against Jewish people stack up to their perceptions of discrimination against other religious and racial groups in the U.S.? Americans are more likely to believe Jewish people in the U.S. face at least a fair amount of discrimination (65%) than they are to believe the same about Christians (43%) or white people (39%). However, the share who say Jewish people in the U.S. face at least a fair amount of discrimination is lower than the shares who same the same about Black (71%) and Muslim (72%) people.
When asked in separate questions whether they think Judaism is a religion, a race, or a nationality, more Americans say they view it as a religion (77%) than as a race (25%) or a nationality (25%). Since we asked similar questions in 2020, the shares of Americans who believe Judaism is a religion or a race has remained relatively stable, while the share who view it as a nationality has increased 7 points to 25% from 18%.
— Carl Bialik and Linley Sanders contributed to this article.
This poll was conducted on October 12 - 14, 2022, among 1,000 U.S. adult citizens. Explore more on the methodology and data for this poll.
Image: Adobe Stock (Rick)