US/World News

87% Democrats, 53% Republicans say antisemitism a ‘serious’ problem

(JTA) – Seventy percent of American voters see antisemitism in the country as a “very” or “somewhat serious” problem, up from 49% a month ago, according to a new poll. The responses differed by party identification, with an overwhelming majority of Democrats, 87%, seeing antisemitism as a “very” or “somewhat serious” problem, and slightly more than half of Republicans, 53%, seeing it as such, according to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted at the beginning of March. Jewish institutions have been hit with more than 100 bomb threats so far this year, all of them hoaxes, and three Jewish cemeteries have been vandalized.

Respondents were split on President Trump’s response to the bomb threats and vandalism, with 37% approving and 38% disapproving. Most Republicans, 71%, approved of Trump’s response, while most Democrats, 66%, disapproved. The poll also found that 63% of American voters think hatred and prejudice has increased since Trump’s election.

Trump has come under fire for his delayed response to the incidents. Concerning the threats on Jewish establishments, Trump at first deflected questions – and in one instance shouted down a reporter who asked him about it – before calling them “horrible.” Last month, the president noted the bomb threats and vandalism of cemeteries in his first address to a joint meeting of Congress.

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