NEW YORK – A new poll of the American Jewish community finds deep and ongoing
support for Israel, contradicting recent speculation that American Jews were
becoming disaffected with the Jewish state.
The poll of over 1,000
American Jews, conducted on May 16 and 17 by Frank Luntz of Frank Luntz Global,
on behalf of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America,
shows commitment to Israel and its right to self-defense, and fear for its
CAMERA Executive Director Andrea Levin said that there had been
no recent polling on the issue and that her organization wanted to get data and
examine whether or not support for Israel within the Jewish community was
declining or not.
“There’s been lots of talk about fraying of support –
the J Street phenomenon, Peter Beinart and others have suggested that there’s a
drift and there is lots of talk about new ways to criticize Israel, and that
there’s a component of the community greatly disaffected,” Levin said. “We were
very happy to see empirically how strong the support is.”
percent of respondents said that if Israel “no longer existed tomorrow,” they
would feel that was a tragedy, with nearly one in four saying they would
consider such an event to be the “biggest tragedy of my
Eighty-five percent said that Israel is “right to take threats
to its existence seriously,” and that Israel’s concerns are not irrational or
“Some news media accounts have tended to amplify a vocal
fringe in the American Jewish community that espouses extreme views and politics
far out of the mainstream,” Levin said. “This poll clarifies what American Jews
actually feel and believe.”
Levin said “the overwhelming majority of
American Jews” are aware of threats to Israel, protective of Israel and strongly
opposed to boycotts against the Jewish state.
While eighty-four percent
of American Jews expressed the belief that the Israeli government is committed
to establishing genuine peace between Israelis and Palestinians, respondents
were more skeptical of the corresponding Palestinian commitment. Seventyseven
percent of respondents consider Palestinian incitement against Israel – its
“culture of hatred” – to be a major obstacle to peace.
percent of respondents consider it to be “very to 100% necessary” for
Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and 77% say Israel should
“refuse to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority until Hamas renounces
terrorism and officially recognizes Israel’s right to exist.”
percent of respondents said that the major obstacle to peace between Israel and
the Palestinians is the Palestinian refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish
More than two-thirds of respondents believe that a Palestinian
state in the West Bank would attack Israel. Seventy-two percent fear Iran would
support terrorism against Israel by the Palestinians.
of American Jews strongly oppose the boycott, divestment and sanction campaigns
against Israel; 68% oppose such action focused solely on settlements.
poll’s respondents were 58% female, 42% male, with 33% of respondents being
between the ages of 50 and 64. Forty-one percent had not corresponded with an
elected official or attended a political rally in the past two
Thirty-four percent of respondents considered themselves to be
moderate liberals; 74% of respondents had voted for Barack
Fifty-seven percent had never been to Israel, and 46% reside in
the Northeastern United States.
“Across the spectrum, the Jewish
community is very protective of Israel, concerned and chagrined about false
accusations against it,” Levin said. “Despite much of the delegitimizing
campaign, the American Jewish community has seen through that and remains