New Poll: Less Than Half American Jews Support Palestinian State & Obama’s Israel Policy
October 19, 2010


A new survey of 800 American Jews has found that an overwhelming majority (76% to 20%) believe that “The goal of the Arabs is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction of Israel” while and an even larger, almost wall-to-wall majority of American Jews (95%) support the proposal that the Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish state in a final peace agreement.


The American Jewish Committee Fall 2010 Survey, carried out between August 31 – October 5, 2010, also found that:


·        Less than half of American Jews favor (48%), while 45% oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state.


·        Contrary to the Obama Administration, a majority of 60% of American Jews support a united Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, while only 35% say Israel should compromise on the city’s status in the framework of a permanent peace with the Palestinians.


·        Less than half (49%) of American Jews approve, while 45% disapprove, of the Obama Administration’s handling of U.S.-Israel relations, signaling a drop from the March 2010 AJC Survey in which 55% approved and 37% percent disapproved. (In AJC’s 2009 survey, 54% approved, and 32% disapproved).


·        More Jews disapprove (46%) than approve (43%) of the Obama Administration’s handling of the Iran nuclear issue, Only a minority of 43% of American Jews approves of the Obama administration’s handling of the Iran nuclear issue, while 46% disapprove, a drop in approval from the March 2010 AJC survey, in which 47% approved and 42% disapproved. (In 2009, 49% approved and 35% disapproved).


·        Among U.S. Jews, 72% believe there is “little” or “no” chance that a combination of diplomacy and sanctions can stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, while only 23% believe these approaches could work. In March 2010, 68% said there was “little” or “no” chance, and 32% said there is a chance they will succeed.


·        Support for the military option again Iran, if sanctions and diplomacy fail, continues to rise, with 59% supporting, and 35% opposing, U.S. military action to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. In March 2010, 53% and 42% opposed possible American military action.


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “This latest survey, with results similar to that carried out 6 months ago, confirms that American Jews understand the intention of Arab regimes to eliminate Israel. This explains their increasing opposition to further Israeli concessions being made to them. For example, the finding that 76% of American Jews believe that Arabs seek Israel’s elimination, not territorial concessions from Israel, was almost identical to the March 2010 finding (75%), as was that showing opposition to dividing Jerusalem (61%). Similarly, in this survey, 95% of American Jews supported the proposition that Palestinians should be required to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in a final peace agreement, a figure virtually identical to results six months ago and in 2009 (94%).


“This survey also offers a detailed and devastating rebuttal to the totally false and phony argument of J Street and other far-left activists masquerading as supporters of Israel that they represent mainstream American Jewry. When attacking ZOA and others with whom they disagree, J Street asks in its ads – ‘Do they speak for you?’ This poll clearly shows that ZOA and these others do speak for American Jewry, whereas J Street clearly does not.


“If three-quarters of American Jewry believe that the Arabs seek to destroy Israel; if most American Jews do not want to divide Jerusalem, even in return for a permanent peace agreement, 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 the small plurality (48% to 45%) support for a Palestinian state’s establishment often does not stem from a belief that it will bring peace and security, but rather from a belief that tactical considerations might require something of the kind.


“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, one can find 45% of American Jews opposing these policies – an increase over last year’s finding of 41% – while those in favor lack a majority.


“It is remarkable that, when the Obama Administration, most countries and the world’s media and academe (and even Israel with conditions), are supporting the dangerous notion of establishing a Palestinian state under current conditions, less than half of American Jews support the idea because they understand the dangers such a state would pose to Israel. American Jews understand that such a state would mean a terror state on Israel’s longest border, increasing danger and creating the possibility of rockets slamming into Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.


“These results show that rank and file American Jews now understand the dangers of creating a Palestinian state. The same applies, even more strongly, regarding ideas like dividing Jerusalem, where there is clear – and growing – majority American Jewish opposition.”

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