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Poll: Twenty percent of college-aged Americans say the Holocaust is a myth

Barely half believe Israel has the right to exist

A new poll sheds light on why so many college-aged Americans aren’t worried about expressing antisemitism: Twenty percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29 believe the Holocaust is a myth.

Specifically, the YouGov/The Economist poll shows eight percent of that age group “strongly agrees” that the World War II Nazi  Jewish genocide program is bogus, while 12 percent “tend to agree.”

Thirty percent neither agreed nor disagreed the Holocaust happened, The Hill reports. In addition, twenty-three percent said the Holocaust “has been exaggerated,” and 28 percent believe Jews “wield too much power” in the U.S.

More blacks and Hispanics than whites agreed with the three statements, and the Holocaust “myth” results held steady across all education levels.

In comparison, no Americans over age 65 said the Holocaust is a myth, only two percent “tend to agree” it’s exaggerated, and six percent believe Jews have too much power.

“Why do some young Americans embrace such views?” The Economist asks. “Social media might play a role.”

According to a 2022 survey from the Pew Research Centre, Americans under 30 are about as likely to trust information on social media as they are to trust national news organisations. More recently Pew found that 32% of those aged 18-29 get their news from TikTok. Social-media sites are rife with conspiracy theories, and research has found strong associations between rates of social-media use and beliefs in such theories. In one recent survey by Generation Lab, a data-intelligence company, young adults who used TikTok were more likely to hold antisemitic beliefs.

Yesterday, senators introduced a bill to reauthorize federal funding for the Never Again [Holocaust] Education Act. The House put forth its own bill last month.

Nevada Senator Jacky Rosen (D) said “Failing to educate students about the gravity and scope of the Holocaust is a disservice to the memory of its victims and to our duty to prevent such atrocities in the future.”

Other results from the poll (18-29 year-olds vs. those age 65+):

— 36 vs. 13 percent believe “Israel exploits Holocaust victimhood for its own purposes.”

— 33 vs. six percent say “people should boycott Israeli goods and products.”

— 32 vs. 13 percent believe “Israel is an apartheid state.”

— 40 vs. 18 percent say “Israel is deliberately trying to wipe out the Palestinian population.”

— 51 vs. 88 percent believe “Israel has the right to exist.”

MORE: Higher ed’s hypocrisy fully exposed for refusal to condemn calls to eradicate Jews

IMAGE: Citizen Free Press/X

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.