Poll: Most US Jews support Palestinian state
Annual survey conducted by American Jewish Committee reveals most American Jews back Israel's efforts to achieve peace, but worry that conflict may lead again to war. Majority of respondents disapprove of American government's handling of Iran's nuclear threat; most believe anti-Semitism set to increase worldwide in coming years
Fifty-six percent of American Jews think Israel and the Arabs never will be able to settle their differences and live in peace, while 38 percent believe they will.
Regarding the war between Israel and Hizbullah, 55 percent approved, and 35 percent disapproved, of the way the Israeli government handled the conflict in Lebanon in July and August. Similarly, 53 percent approved, and 39 percent disapproved, of the way the US government handled the conflict.
American Jews are evenly divided on the outcome of Israel’s summer war with Hizbullah, with 49 percent saying neither Israel nor Hizbullah emerged the winner, 2 percent saying both were victorious, 24 percent to Israel and 15 percent to Hizbullah.
Despite these mixed results, a majority of American Jews, 54 percent, favor the establishment of a Palestinian state, while 38 percent are opposed. These figures are consistent with AJC surveys since 2001.
AJC’s Survey of American Jewish Opinion, conducted annually since 1997, gauges US Jewish views on the Arab-Israeli peace process, terrorism, Iran, the war in Iraq, perceptions of anti-Semitism, social and political issues in the US such as energy and immigration, and Jewish identity concerns.
Disapproval over handling of Iran situationOn questions of national security and US foreign policy, 62 percent of American Jews disapprove, and 31 percent approve, of how the US government is handling the campaign against terrorism, figures consistent with the general American population.
Compared to one year ago, 8 percent of US Jews feel safer from the threat of terrorism, 31 percent feel less safe and 61 percent feel the same.
Sixty-five percent believe the US should have stayed out of Iraq, while 29 percent believe America was correct in taking military action against Iraq.
On Iran’s nuclear program, only one-third, 33 percent, approve of the way the US is handling the situation, and 54 percent disapprove. Moreover, only 38 percent of American Jews would support US military action against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons, while 54 percent are opposed.
Worried about anti-Semitism
Perceptions of anti-Semitism in the US remain unchanged from last year, with 26 percent of American Jews calling it a very serious problem, 65 percent somewhat of a problem, and 9 percent not a problem at all.
Asked about different groups’ attitudes toward Jews, 59 percent of American Jews see “many” or “most” Muslims in the US as anti-Semitic. Asian Americans are viewed as the least anti-Semitic.
Looking ahead over the next several years, 53 percent of US Jews think anti-Semitism around the world will increase, while 36 percent say it will remain the same and 8 percent think it will decrease.
The 2006 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion was carried out for AJC by Synovate (formerly Market Facts), a leading survey-research organization. The 958 respondents were interviewed by telephone between September 25 and October 16. The margin of error for the sample as a whole is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The complete AJC survey is available at www.ajc.org