ADL research: Conspiracy-minded Americans tend toward antisemitic views

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Research by the Anti-Defamation League found a close relationship between Americans’ conspiracy thinking and their belief in anti-Defamation tropes.

A recent study published by the ADL found that belief in anti-Semitic stereotypes in the United States has doubled since 2019 to the highest level in many years. Examining the results further, the ADL found that such beliefs were particularly high among individuals who also gravitated toward conspiracy theories.

Among the stereotypes that survey respondents were asked about were statements such as “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to America” ​​(39% agreed), “Jews have too much power in the United States today” (agreed 20%), “Jews have too much power in the business world” (26%) and “Jews don’t care what happens to anyone but their own kind” (21%).

Cross-referencing that data with other questions, the researchers found, for example, that individuals who strongly agreed with the statement “I think apparently unrelated events often lead to covert activities” also , those who agreed with the highest number of countermeasures. -Jewish tropes (6.7 average). Those who strongly disagreed with the above statement agreed with an average of 2.5 tropes.

In another case, people who strongly agreed that “there are secret organizations that have a lot of influence on political decisions” were again the highest in their Jewish stereotypes score (5.2) compared to those who strongly disagreed (2.7).

In a question intended to evoke the Great Replacement Theory, respondents were asked to rate the statement: “There are people who work secretly to make sure that real Americans will eventually be replaced by immigrants.” Once again, those who strongly agreed believed the highest score on Jewish stereotypes (6.8) compared to those who strongly disagreed (2.8).

​​​​The study also found that those who agreed with more anti-Jewish tropes tended to know less about Jews and had no or negative relationships with Jews.

The original study, published in January, found that 85% of Americans believe at least one anti-Semitic trope, compared to 61% in 2019.

“We have been expecting such results for some time now – and yet the data is still stunning and sobering: anti-Semitic views and hatred have increased alarmingly across almost every metric – at levels not seen for many years,” ADL. CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said then.

“From Pittsburgh to Charlottesville to the almost daily harassment of Jews in our largest cities, violence stems from anti-Semitic beliefs. I hope this survey will be a wake-up call for the whole country,” he said.

Antisemitic vandalism on the wall of a synagogue in New York, 17 August 2022. (Courtesy)

The survey shows that “anti-Semitism in its classic fascist form is re-emerging in American society, where Jews are too secretive and powerful, working against the interests of others, not sharing values, exploiting — the tropes classic conspiracies,” Matt Williams, vice president of the Society. The ADL’s year-old Antisemitism Research Center told The Washington Post.

The results correspond to an increase in anti-Jewish acts in the US. The ADL recorded 2,717 anti-Semitic incidents across the country in 2021, a 34% increase on the previous year, and the highest number since it began tracking it in 1979.

The online survey was conducted among a representative sample of more than 4,000 US adults between September and October 2022, and had a margin of error of 2.06%.

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