Study: Diaspora Jews are growing increasingly critical of Israel

The study, released this week by the Jewish People Policy Institute, an influential think tank based in Jerusalem, comes a year after Israel’s war in Gaza.

By JTA
July 24, 2015 04:07
1 minute read.
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JERUSALEM — Diaspora Jewry is increasingly critical of Israel and young Diaspora Jews are growing more alienated from the Jewish state, a new study found.

The study, released this week by the Jewish People Policy Institute, an influential think tank based in Jerusalem, comes a year after Israel’s war in Gaza. Titled “Jewish Values and Israel’s Use of Force in Armed Conflict: Perspectives from World Jewry,” the report looks at how non-Israeli Jews view Israeli military actions and how Diaspora Jews should respond.

Diaspora Jews tend to support and understand the military actions, the study found, but also “doubt that Israel truly wishes to reach a peace settlement with the Palestinians.” The study added that “few believe it is making the necessary effort to achieve one,” particularly among younger Jews.

Israel’s military actions affect them, Diaspora Jews said, whether exposing them to physical attacks or changing their interactions with non-Jews. The study said that many Jews feel uncomfortable with being forced to serve as “ambassadors” for Israel.

Because of the effect that Israel’s actions have on their lives, according to the study, Diaspora Jews said they want Israel to consult Diaspora Jewry on sensitive issues.

The study was based on discussion groups with Diaspora Jews, as well as questionnaires and survey analysis.

Of the Diaspora Jews who have criticized Israel, Iranian Jews have grown increasingly vocal following the recent Iran nuclear deal.

Haroun Yashayaei, the head of Iran's Jewish community harshly criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the state of Israel in an article appearing in a major Iranian newspaper last week. In the article, he critiqued Israel's policy in the West Bank, calling Israel “the regime that has been occupying a large part of the Palestinian lands since 1967, and has never heeded any of the resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly or Security Council, and has even rejected to temporarily stop building settlements.”

He accused Israel of using rockets fired at it from Gaza as a “pretext” to “turn the Gaza Strip into ruins."

Ariel Ben-Solomon contributed to this report.

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