Nearly two out of three American Jews feel less safe in the United States than they did a year ago, a national survey found.
The American Jewish Committee conducted the survey last year, while the war between Israel and Hamas began on October 7.
The number of American Jews who say they feel less safe in the country is up 22% from last year’s survey.
“This year’s study shows us very clearly that anti-Semitism is just a smoldering flame now, especially since October 7, a full-blown fire,” AJC CEO Ted Deutch told the Associated Press.
According to the report released on Tuesday, 25% of American Jews said they were targets of anti-Semitism in the past year. Nearly half of those surveyed said they had changed their behavior in the past year to avoid anti-Semitism: changing what they wear, what they post online, or where they go, it is not known that they are Jews.
“I live in a rural area, and my house is probably the only Jewish house 30 miles (45 kilometers) around,” a 62-year-old woman said in the report. “We don’t tell people, and outside the house, we don’t show that we are Jewish.”
That reluctance is a “huge challenge for the Jewish community,” Deutch said. “But, in fact, it represents a challenge for our whole society.”
Civil rights groups and the rights of Jews and Muslims in general have reported significant increases in harassment, discrimination, and physical attacks following the war between Israel and Hamas.
Brian Levin, founding director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, said he has seen an increase in internet searches for anti-Jewish and Islamophobic texts since last year, including “eliminationist” texts. ” and murderers.
Levin, who was not involved in the AJC report, said hate crimes against Jews have hit record highs in many major cities. “It’s understandable that Jews feel more unsafe, and police and social science data tell us why,” he said.