Majority of New Yorkers says antisemitism, Islamophobia have increased since Oct. 7


(New York Jewish Week) – A majority of New Yorkers believes Jews and Muslims are experiencing widespread discrimination and that such bigotry has increased since Hamas’ Oct. 7 assault on Israel, according to a poll released on Monday.

The survey from the Siena College Research Institute also found that 25% of respondents said the attack was a result of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, while condemning the murder of civilians. A slim majority said the attack left Israel with no choice but to launch a counteroffensive against Hamas.

The study surveyed 803 registered voters in New York State and was conducted between November 12-15. The margin of error was 4.6%.

The survey found that 37% of New Yorkers believe Jews are facing a great deal of antisemitism and 36% say that Jews are facing some antisemitism, a total of 73%. Seventy-five percent of respondents said the level of anti-Jewish discrimination has increased since Oct. 7. 

The survey panel included approximately 70 Jews, most of whom said there is a great deal of antisemitism. Nearly all said antisemitism had increased since the attack. 

A slightly smaller percentage of the overall respondents said Muslims were facing discrimination, with 24% saying Muslims faced a great deal of Islamophobia, and 38% saying there was some Islamophobia, a total of 62%. The majority — 59% — said the level of Islamophobia had increased since the Hamas attack.

The New York City Police Department reported 69 hate crimes against Jews last month, and eight against Muslims, marking a surge in antisemitism compared to the rest of this year and October 2022.

Survey respondents also appeared to support Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza, which began after the Oct. 7 attack. A slim majority — 51% — supported providing more military and economic aid to Israel, with 37% opposed. A majority of Democrats and Republicans were in favor of increased aid, and a majority of independents were against it. A recent poll found that most Americans back a ceasefire in the conflict, a position Israel has rejected because it would leave Hamas in power.

Asked to choose between two options, 59% of all respondents in the Siena poll, and nearly all Jews, said the Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians were “an unspeakable crime” that should be condemned without hesitation or explanation. Some 25% of overall respondents chose the other option: they condemned the murder of civilians, but said they believed the attacks “were a result of decades of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.” Black and Latino respondents were nearly evenly divided on that question.

Similarly, asked to choose between another two options, a majority of respondents in all parties condemned the killing of innocent civilians in Gaza, but said Israel was “left no other choice” to attack Hamas to protect its security and try to free hostages. Thirty percent of all respondents chose the other option, saying the deaths of Palestinian civilians should be condemned without hesitation or explanation.