AIPAC conference 521.
(photo credit: Reuters)
An overwhelming majority of Israelis believe that lawmakers here should take
into consideration Diaspora Jewry when creating new legislation, especially when
it touches on issues of Jewish identity, a poll has revealed.
Teleseker poll, carried out last week on behalf of the Israel and Boston-based
Ruderman Family Foundation, surveyed 509 adults in Israel.
Livni: Ties weakening between Israeli and Diaspora Jews
Edelstein: Israel-Diaspora dynamic a two-way street
The poll asked
respondents “How important do you believe it is for Israeli lawmakers to
consider the views of Jews in the Diaspora when creating legislation such as
‘Who is a Jew?’” In response, 77 percent said it was extremely important and 23%
said it was important.
In addition, 87.5% of those questioned said they
believe that the American-Jewish community is vital to the future and security
of the State of Israel.
The poll was carried out ahead of the inaugural
event Wednesday of the Israel- American Jewish Knesset Caucus, which aims to
raise awareness among Knesset members, legislative committees and parliamentary
lobbies to the importance of the relationship between Israel and international
Jewry. The forum will serve as a platform to discuss a wide array of
controversial issues affecting the two communities.
The new political
forum comes almost a year after the Ruderman Foundation launched a unique
program aimed at educating Israeli politicians about the organized Jewish
community in the US. Last year, the Ruderman Fellowship Program took six MKs
from across the political spectrum to meet with a wide range of influential
Jewish leaders in Boston and New York.
“I came back from the Ruderman
Fellows Program in the US last year with the understanding that Israel is in
danger of losing one of its most critical strategic allies,” commented MK Ronit
Tirosh (Kadima), who will head the new caucus. “As times change, and the US
Jewish population becomes less engaged and less attached to Israel, the bedrock
of traditional US support of Israel becomes less of a certainty too.”
Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation, said Monday that he is
concerned by the negative impact of some Israeli policy decisions and
legislation that have a direct effect on ties with Jews in the
“Again and again, we see that the Jewish people are split into
two camps that do not understand each other,” said Ruderman. “The fact that the
Knesset members are now willing to examine and address the shifting dynamics in
the American Jewish world is a huge step for Israeli political leaders, and it
will have a direct impact on the future of Israel and Jewish unity.”