BOSTON – A poll of more than 1000 American Jews conducted by Frank Luntz, PhD., of Luntz Global on behalf of CAMERA, the 65,000 member Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, May 16-17 finds continuing, deep support for Israel. Results show strong belief in Israel’s commitment to peace efforts and apprehension about its existential situation and its Palestinian adversaries with their “culture of hatred.” Survey respondents also expressed strong support for Israel’s right to self-defense and opposition to those who would pressure or sanction the Jewish state.
“The poll results dramatically contradict recent speculation about disaffection among American Jews toward the Jewish state,” said CAMERA Executive Director Andrea Levin. “Ninety-four percent of respondents said if Israel ‘no longer existed tomorrow’ it would be
a tragedy. Nearly one in four said they would consider such an event ‘the biggest tragedy of my lifetime.’ The concern is reflected in emphatic sentiment (85%) that Israel ‘is right to take threats to its existence seriously,’ that Israel’s concerns are neither ‘irrational’ nor
“Some news media accounts have tended to amplify a vocal fringe in the American Jewish community that espouses extreme views and policies far out of the mainstream. This poll clarifies what American Jews actually feel and believe,” said Levin.
She added, “The overwhelming majority of American Jews are cognizant of threats to Israel, protective of the country, cautious about risks and strongly opposed to such measures as boycotts, including boycotts of settlements.”
American Jews expressed strong belief the Israeli government (84%) and its people (85%) are committed to establishing genuine peace between Israel and the Palestinian people. At the same time, respondents were far more skeptical of the Palestinian commitment and consider Palestinian incitement against Israel – its “culture of hatred” – to be a major obstacle to peace (77%), far more so than settlements (12%) or “occupation” (12%).
Fully 78% of respondents consider it “very to 100% necessary” for Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, with an additional 12% considering it “somewhat necessary.” This mirrors the position of the Israeli government that such acknowledgment is important as a measure of Palestinian willingness to coexist with a sovereign Jewish nation.
Reflecting apprehension about the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, more than two-thirds of respondents fear such a state would shortly “attack Israel” and 72% fear Iran would support “more terror” against Israel by the Palestinians.
The new PA-Hamas coalition also evokes strong concern, with 77% saying Israel should “refuse to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority until Hamas renounces terrorism and officially recognizes Israel’s right to exist.”
Reflecting an awareness that more than a million Arabs live in Israel, 9 out of 10 American Jews strongly support the view (92%) that Jews should be allowed to live in any future Palestinian state.
On matters having to do with congressional support for Israel, 81% of American Jews say they would be more likely to vote for a representative who signed a letter deploring Palestinian incitement.
In contrast, there is strong opposition, nearly 3 out of 4 Jews, to actions such as promoting appearances in Congress by Judge Richard Goldstone, head of the U.N. panel that falsely accused Israeli forces of targeting civilians in the Gaza Strip. A fringe of only 5% would support such activity.
Likewise, American Jews strongly oppose (71%) boycott, divestment and sanction campaigns against Israel, with a nearly equal number (68%) opposing such action more narrowly focused against settlements.
CAMERA, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, is a media-monitoring and educational organization founded in 1982 and based in Boston, with offices in Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Israel.