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December 02, 1992 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-12-02

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, December 2, 1992- Page 7

ADL survey is no surprise to U-M community

by Nate Hurley
Daily Staff Reporter
Many U-M students and local
community members say they are
not surprised at a survey released by
the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
last month, which showed 20 percent
of Americans hold anti-Semitic
views.
"It shouldn't surprise any of us
that there is some anti-Semitism and
racist baggage that Americans carry.
That's been true for a long time all
over the world," said Michael
Brooks, Hillel's executive director.
Ximena Zdiliga, director of the
U-M's Program on Intergroup
Relations and Conflict, said, "I'm
not that surprised, to be honest.
"It surprises me that people can
be so blunt about it. I would guess
that more than 20 percent have a
negative sentiment toward Jews,"
she said.
The survey used an 11-question
litmus test to determine how many
Americans hold anti-Semitic views.
Similar surveys were conducted in
1964 and 1981.

This year's 20 percent of
Americans holding anti-Semitic
views is down from the 29 percent
from a similar 1964 survey, but
many people do not think this
number is shrinking quickly enough.
"It's nothing new to me that anti-
Semitism is alive and well," said RC
senior Matthew Stein, a member of
Hillel's governing board. "I don't
know how to react. I mean, are we
just looking for a placebo for all the
world's problems, or is the anti-
Semitism based on something real?"
Zildiga offered some reasons why
anti-Semitism still exists in this
country.
"We need to create ranks. We are
in a society that is based on hierar-
chies and we tend to rank people on
various reasons," she said.
She noted that "gay people, dis-
abled people and fat people" are also
ranked in our society.
The survey also showed that
African Americans are more than
twice as likely as whites to hold anti-
Semitic views. Statistics noted that
37 percent of African Americans

could be identified as anti-Semitic,
compared to 17 percent of whites.
Zdtliga said her program has rec-
ognized the tensions between
African Americans and Jews, and
said the program frequently holds
dialogues between members of the
two student groups.
"The issues are raised in the con-
text of Black and Jewish dialogues,"
she said. "It's hard to figure out the
feelings that (African Americans)
have about Jews. It is hard to tell if it
deals with inter-group conflict both
groups have had in New York or
Detroit, or anti-Semitism. History
permeates how both groups deal
with each other."
LSA junior Alan Davis, a minor-
ity peer adviser in Mary Markley,
agreed.
"Usually it's hard for Black and
Jewish students to get off of
defensive arguments," he said.
Brooks suggested that relations in
Ann Arbor and the United States ap-
pear better than those in other parts
of the world.
"It has long been the official pol-
icy - from the top down - that
expressions of such attitudes are

unacceptable," he said.
"One of the byproducts of the
dissolution of authoritarian regimes
in Eastern Europe and the former
Soviet Union has been the venting of
powerful nationalist prejudices that
have been long suppressed, he said.
"Living in places like Ann Arbor,
people tend to be myopic about
those types of things. This is not a
typical community."
Shilpa Satoskar, a U-M graduate
and program coordinator of the
U-M's Program on Intergroup
Relations and Conflict, offered
another point of view.
"Sometimes I think that since
there are so many Jews, some people
consider them a threat," she said.
Satoskar said she has coordinated
dialogues on this topic.
"I think with a society like this, it
seems like (the survey responses)
will be more blatant things. In the
dialogues we do, we tackle that and
we tackle the subtle things, too.
Dialogues are important because
they can go beyond the blatant
things," she said.
-Daily News Editor Andrew
Levy contributed to this report

Americ-an---ti-Semitic ten 6e-n-c
The Anti-Defimation League recently released a report saying
1 in 5 Americans is anti-Semitic. The study asked 11 multiple
choice questions each with one anti-Semitic answer. Below is
the percentage of people who chose the "most anti-Semitic"
answer for a sampling of the questions. The pie chart shows
the percentage of Americans who fit into each of the study's
three categories
Most anti-Semitic

Middle
41% 39%
I Not
a nti-
": ' Semitic

Stick together Like to be at More loyal to Too much Lots of Don't care
more than other the head of Israel than control on irritating about anyone
Americans things America Wall Street faults but own kind
JONATHAN BERNDT/Daily Graphic

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Experts skeptical about
surge in construction
spending, economic outlook

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WASHINGTON (AP) - New
reports yesterday showed the gov-
ernment's chief economic forecast-
ing gauge, construction spending
and manufacturing all up strongly.
But economists, fooled by previous
signs of recovery, weren't ready to
celebrate yet.
The Commerce Department's
Index of Leading Economic
Indicators rose 0.4 percent in
October, the biggest gain in five
months. The department also said
construction spending in October
advanced robustly for the second
consecutive month, reaching the
highest level in two years. And a
widely followed private report
showed American manufacturing
surging in November.
Since the economy lapsed into
recession in July 1990, analysts have
been burned twice by prematurely
predicting a return to better times,
once in mid-1991 and again early
this year. Each time a dip or a stall in
activity prevented the economy from
attaining a self-sustaining recovery.
Of the index's 11 forward-look-
ing indicators, the most positive was
a 13.7 percent drop in average
weekly unemployment benefit
claims, the steepest since December
1982.
George Stephanopoulos, a
spokesperson for President-elect
Clinton, said no decision has been
made about whether the improving
economic outlook would cause
Clinton to scale back a planned
short-term economic stimulus
package.

"We're encouraged by the news
we've seen over the last several
weeks and we hope it continues,"
Stephanopoulos said. "But ... we just
can't tell yet whether or not we're
going to have a real, long, sustained
recovery with job growth and in-
come growth."
Five other indicators in the lead-
ing index were positive. Two were,
neutral and three were negative.
The other positive indicators,
from biggest to smallest, were:
An increase in the average
work week of manufacturing
employees.
A jump in unfilled orders at
factories, a sign that manufacturers
are not as easily keeping up with
new orders and may need to hire
soon.
A rise in orders for business
equipment and buildings.
An increase in orders for con-
sumer goods and the materials that
go into them.
A small gain in building
permits.
The neutral indicators were the
University of Michigan's consumer
sentiment survey and the inflation-
adjusted growth in the money
supply.
The various changes left the in-
dex at a seasonally adjusted 149.1,
up 2.7 percent from a year ago.
Economists said the improving
tone of reports means there is little
immediate prospect that the Federal
Reserve will cut short-term interest
rates unless the economy unexpect-
edly sours.

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