New Study Reveals Alarming State of Antisemitism in U.S., With One in Four Jews Targeted in Past Year

Jewish diners being assaulted by a pro-Palestinian mob, in Los Angeles, California, May 18, 2021.

November 29, 2021

Around one in four American Jews has been a target of antisemitism in the past year, and nearly four in ten have changed their behavior out of fear of it, according to a new report.

The American Jewish Committee’s 2021 State of Antisemitism study, released last month, found that 90 percent of U.S. Jews viewed antisemitism as a problem in the country.

“This critical report confirms that American Jews are deeply concerned about antisemitism in America — and many are limiting their behavior as a result,” American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris stated. “That one in four American Jews has been the target of antisemitism over the past year alone, and that four out of ten have taken steps to conceal their Jewishness or curtail their activities as a result, should alarm all Americans.”

The study revealed that four in ten Americans of all backgrounds have personally witnessed an antisemitic incident in the last 12 months, with 31% having seen more than one.

Furthermore, of particular relevance after the global surge of antisemitism that accompanied the flare-up of Israel-Gaza violence in May, more than 80% of both Jews and the U.S. general public considered anti-Zionism — as represented by the statement “Israel has no right to exist” — antisemitic.

Another notable statistic was that while 82% of American Jews believed antisemitism had increased over the past five years, only 44% of the U.S. general public agreed.

“Now is the time for American society to stand up and say ‘enough is enough,'” Harris added. “American Jews see antisemitism on the far right and the far left, among extremists acting in the name of Islam, and elsewhere throughout America. It is 2021, and a disturbing number of Jews in America are afraid of identifying openly as Jewish for fear of attack. Where is the outrage? Where is the recognition that antisemitism may begin with Jews but, ultimately, targets the fabric and fiber of any democratic society?”

To read the full study, visit: ajc.org/AntisemitismReport2021