New Poll Shows Most U.S. Jews Don’t Support Extremist J Street Views
October 2, 2009


By 75% to 19%, U.S. Jews believe

Arabs’ goal is Israel’s destruction




A new poll has found that three-quarters of American Jews – 75% – believe that “the goal of the Arabs is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction of Israel,” whereas only 19% disagreed. The 2009 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion, carried out by the American Jewish Committee and conducted by Synovate (formerly Market Facts) during August 30 – September 17, 2009, also produced the following findings:


·        American Jews oppose 51% to 41% the Obama Administration’s call for a stop to all new Israeli settlement construction.

·        Even within the framework of a permanent peace with the Palestinians, American Jews oppose by 58% to 37% compromise on the status of Jerusalem as a united city under Israeli jurisdiction.

·        American Jews do not believe 51% to 43% that a time will come when Israel and its Arab neighbors will be able to settle their differences and live in peace.

·        American Jews believe overwhelmingly by 94% to 5% that the Palestinians should be required to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in a final peace agreement.

·        American Jews support 56% to 36% the United States taking military action against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.

·        American Jews support 66% to 28% Israel taking military action against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.

·        More American Jews are less optimistic (23%) about the chance for a lasting peace between Israel and the Arabs than are more optimistic (12%) of such a scenario.

·        Neither support for (49%), nor opposition to (41%), creating a Palestinian state commands a majority of American Jewish opinion.

·        56% of American Jews believe that anti-Semitism around the world is currently a very serious problem, while 43% believe that is somewhat of a problem.

·        45% of American Jews believe that, over the next several years, anti-Semitism around the world will increase greatly, 42% expect it to remain the same, while 9% expect it to decrease (American  Jewish Committee 2009 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion).


These survey findings are broadly consistent with a July 2009 Global Marketing Research Services poll of American Jews who support the Democratic Party, which found that they believe 55% to 27% that President Obama is naïve trying to establish a Palestinian state on the presumption that the Palestinians will make peace. The same poll also showed that Jewish Democrats believe 52% to 37% that Israel should be allowed to build new homes in existing Jewish communities in the disputed territories (Dick Morris & Eileen McGann, ‘Where Bam Breaks with Jewish Dems,’ New York Post, August 7, 2009).


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “These poll findings offer a detailed and devastating rebuttal of the contrived argument of J Street and other far-left activists masquerading as supporters of Israel that they represent mainstream American Jewry, who do not support the one-sided, concessionary policy towards the Palestinians which J Street is urging on the Obama Administration and Israel to adopt.


“If two-thirds of American Jewry believe that the Arabs seek to destroy Israel, not set up a peaceful Palestinian state; if most American Jews oppose a freeze on Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem Judea and Samaria; if most American Jews do not want to divide Jerusalem, even for a real peace; and if most American Jews support either American or Israeli military action to stop Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, then most American Jews clearly do not support the positions espoused by J Street.


“Even the small plurality of support recorded here in support of a Palestinian state must be read in light of these other findings. In doing so, it becomes apparent that support for a Palestinian state’s establishment often does not stem from a belief that it will bring peace and security, but from a belief that tactical considerations might require something of the kind.


“It is interesting to note that, even though American Jews in this survey approve in general terms the Obama Administration’s handling of relations with Israel (54% to 32%), as soon as it comes to specific Obama policies, a majority oppose him. This may indicate that, since a large majority of American Jews support the Democratic Party, they may have a knee-jerk sense of loyalty in general terms towards any Democratic president, but their disagreement on specific Obama policies towards Israel is readily apparent in this poll and others.


“It is remarkable that when you have an American president and Administration never losing an opportunity to promote the formation of a Palestinian state; when almost all American Jewish organizations support that position, as well as much of Congress and almost the whole world, there is still 41% of American Jews opposing these policies, while those in favor lack a majority. This shows that rank and file American Jews now understand the dangers of creating a Palestinian state. The same applies, even more strongly, regarding the ideas of splitting Jerusalem and freezing Jewish construction in the disputed territories, where there is clear majority American Jewish opposition.”



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