Surprising results found in new AJC poll

78% said goal of Arabs is destruction of Israel, not return of the territories.

Nearly 78 percent of Jewish respondents in a new poll commissioned by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) agreed with the statement, "The goal of the Arabs is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction of Israel." However, 56% said they favor the establishment of a Palestinian state, while 36% said they supported a compromise in Jerusalem in the framework of a permanent peace agreement with the Palestinians. The survey, conducted among 1,000 self-identifying Jewish respondents, also found that 70% oppose the war in Iraq, compared with only 28% who approve. The option of the United States taking military action against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons was virtually tied (49% in favor, 46% against). Asked how close they were to Israel, 36% said they were very close while 41% said they were fairly close. However, 79% said they agreed with the following statement, "Caring about Israel is a very important part of my being a Jew." Other data showed that 49% of respondents said that they had never been to Israel due to high travel costs, 20% due to personal safety concerns, and 18% due to lack of interest. Also, 54% said their political affiliation was Democrat, 29% Independent and 16% Republican. When it comes to Jewish identity, 64% said that participating in synagogue services was very important or fairly important to them. Only 5% said celebrating Jewish holidays was not important to them, while 2% said remembrance of the Holocaust was not important to them. According to the poll, 10% labeled themselves as orthodox, 32% conservative, 29% as reform and 26% as just Jewish. Asked which threat was a greater to Jewish life in the United States, 62% said anti-Semitism while 33% said intermarriage.