Further research is needed into why Hispanics have somewhat negative attitudes about Jews in the United States, an American Jewish Committee report concluded. “Existing research supports the conclusion that Hispanics hold more negative views of Jews than non-Hispanics do, but the extent of that difference and its pattern are unclear,” wrote author Tom Smith, director of the General Social Survey at the National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago. The full text of “Hispanic Attitudes Toward Jews” is available at www.ajc.org, the group said in a statement Thursday. Smith wrote that existing data indicates various explanations for why Hispanics hold negative views of Jews, including anti-Semitic elements in Latin American Catholicism; fascist political movements in Latin America; little positive exposure to the Jewish community in both Latin America and the United States; and socio-demographic and attitudinal differences separating the U.S Hispanic and Jewish communities. “A majority of Hispanics and Jews end up on the same side of most issues,” Smith wrote, even though there are “large differences in socio-economic status, religion, immigration status and historical experiences” between the two communities. However, no single study so far presents the information needed for a clear understanding of the Hispanic community’s approach to Jews, the report found. Smith recommended more research, with larger samples of Hispanics, so that subgroups can be analyzed, the level of intergroup contact can be taken into consideration and the characteristics of the community can be accurately assessed.
Report gauges Hispanic attitudes toward Jews