In November, Gallup did a poll of 1,002 Americans, asking them their feelings on three "minority religions" – that would be the Muslims, the Buddhists, and us. This week, they released the findings. Among them:
- 71 percent report having a "positive" opinion about Jews, including 25 percent who have "very positive" opinions. (Does this remind anyone else of the bit on the final Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien where Steve Carell came out in character as Michael Scott to do Conan’s exit interview and only gave him the choices "positive," "very positive," and "extremely positive"? Just me then? Okay.)
- 15 percent admitted to having some negative feelings about Jews.
- 19 percent of respondents do not actually know any Jewish people.
Somehow, I don’t find these results terribly shocking. What I’d really love to know is whether those 19 percent of people who don’t know any of Teh Jooz had positive or negative opinions of us. My guess is actually going to be that the people who don’t know any Jews presumably live in rural areas in places like the Deep South and therefore love Jews in theory because they’re evangelical Christians and therefore think the Jews are the Chosen People. Obviously, my own experiences growing up in the South around evangelicals are influencing me on this one, but I’d love to see a more specific breakdown of the study with an emphasis on geographical regions.
Anyway, the next time Abe Foxman goes on yet another one of his "everyone’s an antisemite!!1!#@!" rages, someone should be ready in the wings to hand him a copy of these survey results.