Only 4% of American Jews consider Israel most important voting issue

Some 43% of American Jews have health care at the top of their priority lists

Have some American Jews replaced Judaism with liberalism? (photo credit: REUTERS)
Have some American Jews replaced Judaism with liberalism?
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Ahead of the US 2020 presidential election, most American Jews remain pro-Israel but do not define Israel as their most important voting issue, according to a new study by the Ruderman Foundation.
Only 4% of Jewish voters identify Israel as their first or second-most important election issue. Some 43% prioritize health care, 28% prioritize gun violence and 21% prioritize Social Security and Medicare.
The paper, entitled “The Jewish Vote 2020: More Empowered than Powerful,” states that analysis of Jewish American voting patterns “tells us more about why they vote than about what their vote achieves,” and examines voting patterns to draw conclusions on shifts in American Jewish identity and values.
The failure to vote primarily on the topic of Israel is not due to a shift away from pro-Israel sentiments but rather a reflection of Jewish liberal identities, according to the study.
One of the finding in the paper is that “in the voting booth, most American Jews are actually more pro-choice and anti-Trump than pro-Israel.”
The three part position paper examines defining issues of what it calls a “watershed seemingly dividing pro-Trump Israeli Jews from anti-Trump American Jews,” and was co-authored by the Ruderman Family Foundation and Prof. Gil Troy.
The first part of the paper focuses on American Jewish voting and donation patterns, the second part discusses Jewish liberalism in America, while the third part looks at antisemitism in the 2016 presidential campaign.
The paper asserts that the 2020 presidential campaign “has carried unprecedented implications” for American Jewish identity, and that the 2020 election will inform American Jewry’s identity building journey for decades to come.