American Jews supported Operation Cast Lead
We've all heard that some 94% of Israelis supported Operation Cast Lead. I would have found it hard to believe that a similar percentage of American Jews supported Israel's actions in Gaza, but according to the ADL American Jews were nearly as supportive
as Israelis were.
The telephone survey of 400 American Jewish adults was conducted between January 13-19, 2009 (with a hiatus Friday evening-Saturday for the Jewish Sabbath) for ADL by The Marttila Communications Group, and has a margin of error of +/-4.9%.
• 94% expressed sympathy for Israel over Hamas; only 1% for Hamas (graph). By denomination breakdown: Orthodox - 98% expressed sympathy for Israel; Conservative - 96%; Reform - 91%.
• 81% expressed the belief that Hamas was responsible for the escalation of the violence; only 14% held Israel responsible (graph). By denomination breakdown: Orthodox - 84% held Hamas responsible, Conservative - 88%, Reform - 77%; non-practicing 77%.
• Asked whether Israel's response to Hamas rockets was appropriate or excessive, probably the major theme that has appeared in international critiques of Israel, 79% said it was appropriate, 17% excessive (graph). By denomination breakdown: Orthodox - 88%, appropriate, Conservative - 80%, Reform - 80% and non-practicing - 71%
• When asked about Israel's right to self-defense versus the need to win the "hearts and minds" of the Arab world, 79% said that Israel's responsibility to protect its citizens takes precedence (graph).
Unfortunately, when it comes to issues like the Gaza expulsion and establishing a 'Palestinian'
, American Jews seem to understand as little as many Israelis.
ADL also explored American Jewish views of some of the key political issues facing Israel:
• Two-thirds of those interviewed indicated that they supported Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 and the same number continues to support that position today (graph).
• 63% support the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza while 32% oppose. On the question of who is doing more to bring peace to the region, Israel or the Palestinians, 91% said Israel and 4% said the Palestinians.
I suppose we cannot expect Americans to be more Israeli than the Israelis.