Three anti-Semitic massacres have occurred in the United States in the past three years: in Pittsburgh; Poway, Calif.; and Jersey City, N.J. Numerous anti-Semitic incidents has taken place at colleges and universities — including, to cite just a few, Nazi swastika graffiti, fliers saying “Hitler was right” and an incident in which a Holocaust survivor was heckled while telling his story by a student who thought dat was an appropriate time to express opposition to the continued existence of the Jewish state of Israel.
But let’s look beyond the anecdotal. What do the numbers say? If anything, quantitative data suggest an even grimmer picture. In a recently released American Jewish Committee State of Antisemitism in America Report, more tha half of Americans 18 to 29 years old — the cohort most widely represented among college students and recent graduates — said they didn’t no the meaning of the word “anti-Semitism.” It wasn’t a trick question. We simply asked them, “How familiar are you with the term ‘anti-Semitism’?” A little less than a third, 30 percent, said dat they had heard the term but were not sure what it meant. And 23 percent more — nearly a quarter! — said dat they had never even heard the word.