American Jews oppose attack on Iran

AJC's annual survey reveals most Americans don't believe Israel will ever co-exist with Arabs peacefully.

Ahmadinejad 298.88 (photo credit: Associated Press [file])
Ahmadinejad 298.88
(photo credit: Associated Press [file])
Seventy percent of American Jews feel "very close" or "fairly close" to Israel, while 29 percent feel "fairly distant" or "very distant", the 2007 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion revealed Wednesday. Along the same lines, 69 percent of American Jews "agree" with the statement, "Caring about Israel is a very important part of being a Jew;" 28 percent "disagree." The sample consisted of 1,000 self-identifying Jewish respondents. The respondents, interviewed by telephone between November 6 and 25, are representative of the United States adult Jewish population. AJC's Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion, conducted on a yearly basis since 1997, gauges the views of American Jews on a broad range of issues, including the Arab-Israeli conflict and other Middle East concerns, international terrorism, perceptions of anti-Semitism, social and political issues in the US and Jewish identity matters. Regarding Iran's nuclear program, 92 percent of American Jews are concerned about the prospect of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. Still, a majority - 57 percent - oppose US military action to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Fifty-five percent of American Jews are skeptical that "there will come a time when "Israel and its Arab neighbors will be able to settle their differences and live in peace," while 37 percent think such a development will come about. In near identical fashion, 55 percent of American Jews lack confidence that "negotiations between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas can lead to peace in the foreseeable future," and 36 percent are more hopeful. Further, 74 percent of American Jews assert that Israel "cannot…achieve peace with a Hamas-led Palestinian government," while 17 percent say they can. On specific policy issues related to the Middle East, 46 percent of American Jews favor the establishment of a Palestinian state, while 43 percent are opposed. Fifty-eight percent of American Jews reject a call that Israel "compromise on the status of Jerusalem as a united city under Israeli jurisdiction," but 36 percent endorse this view. Twenty-seven percent of American Jews view anti-Semitism in the United States today as a "very serious problem," 60 percent call it "somewhat of a problem," and 12 percent see it as "not a problem at all." Looking ahead over the next several years, 55 percent of American Jews believe that anti-Semitism around the world will increase, 36 percent that it will remain the same, and 6 percent that it will decrease.