New Poll: Majority Of Jewish Democrats Oppose Obama’s Pressure On Israel, Don’t Believe Palestinians Want Peace, Don’t Support Construction Freeze
August 10, 2009


A new poll reveals that American Jewish Democrats disagree with the Obama Administration’s approach toward Israel and the Palestinians.  On July 22-24, 2009, Global Marketing Research Services conducted a poll of 500 American Jews who identified themselves as Democrats.  Fifty-five percent believe that “President Obama is naïve in thinking that the Palestinians would make peace, whatever they say.  They will just use the new land as a base to attack Israel like they did in Gaza.”  Only 27% think that “President Obama is right that Israel should agree to let the Palestinians form their own country and return the West Bank to them. This would defuse the hatred in the Middle East, reduce terrorism and help America, the Palestinians, and Israel live in peace.”


The poll also showed that 52% of Jewish Democrats believe that Israel “should be allowed to build new homes in existing settlements but not to start new ones.”  Only 37% think that “it is very important that Israel not expand its settlements on the West Bank so as not to alienate the Palestinians,” thus supporting the Obama Administration’s position.


Other poll findings:


·        Jewish Democrats revealed their belief that it is the Arabs, not Israel, who are to blame for the Arab-Israeli conflict.  By a margin of 60% to 20%, those polled agree that “if the Arabs lay down their weapons, there would be no more war.”  By an 83%-6% margin, Jewish Democrats believe that “if Israel were to lay down its weapons, the Arabs would destroy it.”


·        52% of Jewish Democrats believe that “the Arabs will never live in peace with Israel and that giving them a nation of their own will just make them stronger.”  A mere 20% agree with the Obama Administration’s view that “if Israel could settle its dispute with the Palestinian refugees and give them a nation of their own, that the Arabs would live in peace with Israel.”


·        92% of Jewish Democrats have a favorable opinion of Israel.  Only 17% have a positive view of the “Palestinian refugees.”


·        By a 75% to 9% margin, Jewish Democrats reject the claim that “Israel has become a bully, pushing its Arab neighbors around.”


·        By a 55% to 14% margin, Jewish Democrats reject the idea that “the Israeli Army and Mossad are guilty of human-rights abuses.”  By a 59% to 14% margin, Jewish Democrats agree that the “the Israeli Army and Mossad go out of their way to avoid hurting civilians.”


·        By a 70% to 13% margin, Jewish Democrats reject the statement that “Israel is intolerant of its neighbors and does not do enough to get along with them in peace.”


(Dick Morris & Eileen McGann, ‘Where Bam Breaks with Jewish Dems,’ New York Post, August 7, 2009).


These poll results amplify the findings of other recent polls showing strong American Jewish support for Israel’s positions.  For example, a poll conducted by the Anti-Defamation League in April 2009 revealed that by an 80% to 6% margin, Americans Jews sympathize with Israelis over Palestinians.  The poll also showed that nearly three-quarters (74%) of American Jews approved of Israel’s then-recent action in Gaza against Hamas; that by a 66% to 28% margin, American Jews agreed with the appropriateness and proportionality of Israel’s military response; and that 73% supported Israel’s right to close its border with Gaza (‘American Jewish Attitudes on Israel and the Middle East Conflict,’ Anti-Defamation League Survey, March 31 – April 8, 2009).


Gary Ratner, the ZOA’s National Executive Director, said, “The message from the poll conducted by Global Marketing Research Services is clear:  Whatever else they may think of the Obama Administration’s other policies, American Jewish Democrats overwhelmingly disagree with the Administration’s policy toward Israel and the Palestinians.


“In particular, they do not share the Obama Administration’s belief that the Palestinian leadership accepts Israel and seeks to live in peace.  American Jewish Democrats do not believe that Jews should be stopped from moving to or building in Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.  These poll results suggest that the Obama Administration’s policies are out of sync with the views of a majority of American Jewish Democrats. 


“Considering the fact that American Jewish Republicans are more likely to disagree with the Obama Administration’s policies towards Israel and the Palestinians, it is fair to say that American Jews overwhelmingly disagree with Obama Administration policies toward Israel.”



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