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Poll Analysis: U.S. and Israeli Jews Have Many Common Views, Some Striking Differences

I. Comparison of American Jews and Israeli Jews
American Jews and Israeli Jews disagree over whether Jews should support Israel publicly even when they disagree in private as they have with frequency in recent months over conversion and other issues.According to a new Los Angeles Times/Yedioth Ahronoth poll conducted among American Jews and Israeli Jews, Jews of both countries have more similar views on relations with each other and their opinions and understanding of the peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians than they do differences. This poll was the first ever co-sponsored by the two newspapers and was undertaken to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the State of Israel.

    There are some questions that apply only to Israel and these are:
  • Israelis were asked what they consider Israel's greatest accomplishments in its 50 year existence. By far, a third (33%) say its independence, the fulfillment of Zionism, followed by the migration of immigrants to Israel, 13%, peace with Egypt, 6% and the economy, at 6%.
  • And they say the greatest shortcomings in its 50 year history is: lack of unity with the different Jewish communities (17%), failure to end the Israeli-Arab conflict (9%), the state isn't secured (9%), followed by ethnic relations within the state, (7%) and relations between religious and non-religious Jews in Israel (6%).
  • An overwhelming majority (82%) of Israeli Jews say the relations between the ultra-Orthodox (called Haredic in Israel) and secular Jews is fairly or very bad, including 44% who say very bad (compared to 16% who say relations are good). While relations between secular Jews and non-ultra religious Jews (called National religious) is considered to be good (8% very good and 58% fairly good), compared to a third who say bad. Also relations between Ashkenazim Jews (born in Europe) and Jews from oriental origin (born in Africa or Middle East) are seen as good (63% to 34% bad); relations between new immigrants and residents who came to Israel before 1989 are good (54% to 42% bad). However, not surprising, relations between Jews and Israeli Arabs are considered poor (79%), including 43% who say very bad. Just 18% think they are good.
  • There isn't agreement on the question whether Israeli Arabs are loyal or disloyal to the state of Israel. Although many Jews believe the Arabs in the state are disloyal, it is not an overwhelming feeling (14% say Israeli-Arabs are loyal, 28% fairly loyal for a combined 42%), compared to 26% fairly disloyal and 27% disloyal (for a combined 53%).
  • There is some controversy in Israel whether ultra-Orthodox, or those students studying in Yeshiva should be compelled to serve in the armed forces. The Haredic do not want their children to serve in the Army, but an overwhelming majority of Israelis, 80%, believe they should. The opposite is true of Israeli Arabs. About three-quarters (72%) of the Israeli Jews believe this group should not serve in the Army.
Overall Feelings about the State of Israel
Many American Jews (49%) believe Israel is off on the wrong track, compared to just 26% who think Israel is going in the right direction. This opinion is not all that different from Israelis feelings about its own country. Israelis are divided over their state's direction with 40% believing it is going in the right direction, and 42% saying it is off on the wrong track. This may be because the economy is lagging, the peace process has stalled and conflicts/terrorism between the Palestinians and Jews are still happening.
    This feeling of pessimism permeates down to how they feel about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the belief that the present government is making relations worse with the United States. Both the American Jews and Israeli Jews are somewhat divided over whether they like Netanyahu or not. In America, 45% of Jews have a favorable impression of the prime minister, compared to virtually the same 46% in Israel. A third of American Jews have an unfavorable impression, while the Israelis have a more unfavorable impression of him, 47%. Both samples believe the present government in Israel contributes to a worse relationship between the two countries (36% each group) than a better relationship (19% American Jews, 20% Israeli Jews).
    Again, opinions about Palestinian Authority Leader Yasser Arafat are the same between the two people (83% in Israel and 73% in America have unfavorable impressions of the Palestinian leader). However, two-thirds (66%) of the Israeli have an unfavorable impression of the Palestinian people, compared to 39% of the American Jews. This finding is not surprising, given that Israelis live among these people, lived through the Intifada and know the day-to-day problems they live with in order to live peacefully. The day has yet to come when both sides believe they can coexist peacefully and call each other neighbors or friends.
    Respondents of both countries feel a closeness to Israel/United States. About 3 out of five of each group express that opinion. But 86% of American Jews think what happens in Israel is important to them personally, while only 58% of Israeli Jews feel the same way about the United States. Again, I don't find that surprising. In America, and I would assume anywhere else where there is a Jewish community, Jews have always desired, knew there would be a "homeland" for all Jews to go to ("a return to Jerusalem"). When there is a danger or threat to Israel's existence, Jews around the world and especially in the US rally to protect their homeland, whether sending financial aid, and in some instances, rushing to Israel to join the Army. Outside of Israel, the US has the largest Jewish population.
    One of the few times the different groups differ is on the issue of whether or not Jews should support Israel in public even when they disagree in private. 40% of American Jews say they should, while 50% say they shouldn't, compared to 65% of Israelis who say they should support Israel in public, while 28% disagree.
    About 2 out of five Jewish Americans have visited Israel at least once (41%), about the same number of Israelis have visited the US at least once (37%). However 73% of Israelis have family or close friends living in the US, while the reverse is true of 42% of the American Jews. More than twice as many Israelis see themselves moving to the United States than Americans moving to the Jewish homeland (16% to 7%).
    A sizable plurality of Israelis (47%) believe it would be better for Judaism if as many Jews as possible lived in Israel, compared to 15% of American Jews agreeing with this statement. The reverse is felt among American Jews (66% agree with the statement that in the long run it is in the best interest of Judaism to have a significant population in the US, compared to 42% of the Israelis).
    Both samples agree that there is a significant degree of Jewish cultural and religious life in the US (70% for Israelis, including 30% who strongly agree; 88% for Americans, including 57% who strongly agree).There are similar findings in each group about their current relationship to one another. No group thinks the relationship is excellent, but overall they believe it is good. About half of American Jews (49%) and 53% of Israelis say that the relationship between the two people is excellent or good and 39% of each group say it is either fair or poor. When asked to think about the Jews in each country becoming closer over the next 3 to 5 years, more American Jews, 62%, believe the relationship between them will remain the same (47% for Israelis). Israelis, slightly more than American Jews (25% to 17%) say the two groups will become closer. Those thinking the two Jewish groups will drift apart is virtually the same (12% for American Jews and 14% for israelis). Yet with this positive feeling toward the Jewish people, 43% of Israelis believe relations between the two countries has gotten worse, just 13% say it is better than it has been in the past, and 39% think it has remained the same. American Jews are not so pessimistic, with 54% saying it has remained the same, only 23% say it has gotten worse and 17% say better. And as I mentioned above, one of the reasons for the Israelis feeling this way is because they believe the present government in Israel is making the relationship between their government and the US worse, not better.
    What surprised me the most is the answer to the question of whether the views of American Jews should be taken into account in Israelis policies. Only 18% of Israeli Jews say American Jewish views should NOT be taken into account, while 48% of American Jews feel the same way. That means almost 4 out of 5 (78%) Israelis believe the views of American Jews should be weighed in their country's policy making. Sixteen percent say a great deal of influence, 44% some influence, and 18% little influence.

Israel and the Peace Process
Both American Jews and Israeli Jews think that compared to one year ago, the chances for a lasting peace between Israel and the Arabs is dim. More than 2 out five of each group (41% for Americans, 46% for Israelis) say they are less optimistic, compared to just 9% for Americans and 12% for Israelis who are more optimistic now than they were a year ago. They feel this way, partly because they believe the peace process has made Israel less secure (33% for Israelis, 35% for Americans) or that security hasn't been affected by the peace process (33% for Israelis and 35% for Americans). However, 28% of Israelis say it has made Israel more secure, while 18% of Americans feel the same way.
    Who is more sincere in wanting the peace process to work, or continue. Again, not surprising, both groups believe Netanyahu is more sincere than Arafat. In Israel, 63% of those surveyed believe the Israeli prime minister is sincere, while 60% of their American counterparts say the same about Netanyahu. But what is surprising is that Americans believe 50% to 37% that Arafat is not sincere in wanting the peace process to move forward, while the Israelis are divided over this (49% sincere, 45% not sincere).
    Oslo Accord: More Israeli Jews (77%) than American Jews (66%) approve of the Oslo Accord which agreed to return part of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the Palestinians in exchange for peace and official recognition of Israel by the Palestinians. (About 40% of Israelis strongly approve of the accord, while 29% of American Jews strongly approve.) I would think based on this result that Israel wants peace with its neighbors. Many feel it's about time to put down their weapons and live peacefully with one another. They have lived in fear of war, of terrorist attacks throughout their life and the life of the nation and it's time to move on. Israel is one of the successes in the MidEast with a democracy and a burgeoning economy. It is a strong ally to the US and vice versa. All parents (Palestinians and Israeli Jews) want peace for their children and grandchildren.
    To get this peace, most of the American Jews and a majority of Israelis would be willing to give up land on the West Bank. 7% of American Jews would be willing to give up all of it in exchange for peace, while 11% say most, 32% say only some of it and 19% would be willing to give up a small part for peace in that part of the world. Among Israelis, 13% would be willing to give up all of the West Bank if that would insure a peace agreement, 17% most of it, 28% only some of it and 13% say only what they have already returned.
    About the same share of each sample say they would not be willing to give up any of the West Bank to reach a peace agreement (17% in Israel and 16% in the US).
    Although most would not want to give up all of the land, both groups think Israel should not continue to expand Jewish settlements in the West Bank or Gaza (53% for American Jews, 59% for Israelis).
    More American Jews are willing to approve of there being an independent Palestinian state in the Middle East than their Israeli counterparts (68% of American Jews vs. 44% for Israelis). About half (49%), in fact, of Israelis, disapprove of this notion. And each group also believes that true peace with the Palestinians will not put an end to conflicts with other Arab nations (57% for American Jews and 58% for Israeli Jews). There is more agreement in the notion that disturbances by Palestinians in the occupied territories are acts of war against the government of Israel and not acts of civil disobedience as the Palestinians say (49% of American Jews, 48% of Israelis say act of war, compared to 34%, 36% respectively saying civil disobedience).

On Being Jewish
The controversy surrounding the ultra-Orthodox statements about who is a Jew last year and their wanting to pass a law to only allow Orthodox Rabbis to perform marriage and conversion in Israel has struck a sour note among American Jews. Especially since most Jews in the US are either Conservative, Reform, or non-affiliated. Just 9% of the Jews in America are Orthodox. The American Jews were deeply offended. 81% of American Jews, favor permitting Reform and Conservative Rabbis to perform marriages and conversions in Israel, including 67% who strongly favor this. Just 13% oppose this measure. On the other hand, 58% of Israeli Jews favor this, while 36% oppose, including 27% who strongly oppose. And 76% of American Jews also believe women should be allowed to be Rabbis, compared to 48% of Israelis (38% say they shouldn't).
    More American Jews (52%) view Jews primarily as a group defined as an ethnic or cultural group than do Israelis (39%). Conversely, slightly more Israelis view Jews primarily as a group defined by religion (42%) than do Americans (32%).
    The question of who is a Jew is something that has been discussed over and over again and will be argued over for many more years. We wanted to get at this issue by asking respondents from each country whom would they be more likely to consider Jewish: a person who has a Jewish mother, but does not practice the religion, or a person whose mother isn't Jewish, but who attends temple on a regular basis? Answers differ among the two groups. In the US, Jews feel that a person who has a non-Jewish mother, but attends synagogue (50%) is more Jewish than one who has a Jewish mother, but doesn't practice Judaism (27%). Sixteen percent say both people would be considered Jewish. For the Israelis, 43% believe the person with a Jewish mother, but non-practicing, is Jewish, vs. 13% who believe the other statement. But the Israelis are more open as to whom they consider Jewish than their American counterparts (32% also believe both people should be considered Jewish).
    Both samples say that defining themselves as Jewish is important to them (57% for Israelis and 54% for Americans). But 27% of Israelis say it is the single most important part of how they identify themselves, while 13% of Americans feel that way. About 10% of each group say it is not important to them to identify themselves as being Jewish.
    Also, both majorities of both groups are concerned that the number of people who consider themselves Jewish will diminish over the next couple of generations (68% for Israelis, 69% for Americans).

II. American Jews and Their Feelings About Israel
American Jews approve of an independent Palestinian state. And they believe a Palestinian state is likely to be created whether they like it or not.
    American Jews do feel a connection between themselves and Israel, but they are not blind to Israel's shortcomings, according to a new Los Angeles Times poll of American Jews.
    Two-thirds of those surveyed believe it is in the best interest of Judaism to have a significant Jewish population in the United States, while 15% think it would be better for Judaism if as many Jews as possible lived in Israel. Orthodox respondents were divided over this issue, while Conservative and Reform Jews overwhelmingly agree with the former statement. Even the highly observant Jew (56%) say it is best to have a significant Jewish population in the US. This could be explained by a preponderance of all groups strongly agreeing that there is a significant degree of Jewish cultural and religious life in this country.
    While American Jews think the U.S. is generally going in the right direction (59%), nearly half (49%) think Israel is off on the wrong track. Comparing the nation to the American Jewish sample, Jews are more optimistic about America than the American public. In a January 1998 Times poll, 53% of the American people thought the country was going in the right direction, while 38% thought is was off on the wrong track. (This could be explained by the fact that American Jews are disproportionately wealthier than the American public overall: 19% of American Jews earn $100,000 or more, 13% earn between $70,000 and $100,000. Fifty-three percent of the American public makes $40,000 or less, 21% earn $40,000 to $60,000 and 19% earn more than $60,000.)
    An overwhelming majority (86%) believe what happens in Israel is important to them personally, including 44% who say "very" important, but 50% don't think Jews should support Israel in public when they disagree in private. This is a similar finding to the one we found in a Times poll conducted ten years ago, 48% said Jews should not support Israel in public even when they disagreed in private. Yet, nearly 3 out of five (58%) feel close to Israel. This feeling of closeness to Israel has sharply declined over the last ten years. In a 1997 American Jewish Committee poll (AJC), 69% said they felt close to Israel and in a Times poll conducted 10 years ago, three-quarters of Jews said they felt close to the Jewish homeland. This could be interpreted as the farther one gets from the atrocities of World War II, the continual fighting against Arab nations, the Palestinian issue, and the differences exploited on social issues (i.e., ultra-Orthodox as a vocal minority, conversion laws, who is considered a Jew), affinity with the Jewish state recedes. As Seymour Martin Lipset and Eric Raab in their book, Jews and the New American Scene, write, "Israel has a variety of possible meanings for American Jews with political and personal implications that are, to many American Jews, more immediate and tangible: it is a familial land inhabited by relatives who must be protected against deadly enmity; it is a cause that could conceivably place a strain on relations between Jews and other Americans; it is a country whose vulnerability to attack reminds American Jews of their own vestigial sense of insecurity."
    This closeness differs depending on age and of the respondents' observance toward Judaism. Nearly half of those who are considered 'high' observers feel very close to Israel (83% say very/somewhat close), compared to 24% of those 'moderate' observers (63% say very/somewhat close) and 9% of 'low' observers (38% say very/somewhat close). The younger cohort 18-29, are divided over whether they feel close or not (51% close, 48% distant), while the older respondents (65+) overwhelmingly feel close to Israel (72%).
    Two out of five Jews surveyed say they've been to Israel at least once, with a fifth saying more than once. More than two-thirds of high observers (68%) say they've been to Israel at least once, compared to 22% who are low observers. More than half of the elderly have been there at least once, while 39% of the 18-29 year olds, 35% of the 30-44 year olds and 38% of the 45-64 year olds say they have been to Israel at least once. Also, more than half of the highly affluent (more than $100,000) have been to Israel at least once, as well as 44% of those married, and 41% of those who are parents.
    Similarly, 42% of respondents say they have relatives or close friends living in Israel. And of those who have relatives/friends in Israel, 3 out of five of those surveyed say they have visited the Jewish homeland at least once. Interestingly, more of the younger respondents (18-29) say they have friends or relatives living in Israel, compared to the other age groups. (For instance, half of the 18-29 year olds compared to 44% of the elderly.) 65% of the highly observant Jews say they have friends or relatives in Israel, compared to 47% of the moderate observant Jew and just 23% of the low observant Jew. Most of the Orthodox Jews say they have friends or relatives in Israel, compared to 48% of Conservative Jews and 39% of Reform Jews.
    Virtually all American Jews do not see themselves moving to Israel, but a small share (7%) do see themselves moving, including almost 3 out of 10 Orthodox (which is a lifetime goal for this group to make "aliyah"), a fifth of the younger group, 18 to 29, and 16% of those highly observant.
    Nearly half (49%) say relations between Israeli Jews and American Jews are excellent or good (only 8% say excellent), while 39% say fair or poor (just 6% say poor). The more observant the respondents are, the more they believe the relationship between the two peoples is excellent or good (59% highly observant, 51% moderately observant, 41% low observant). And 62% also feel that in 3 to 5 years, the relationship between Jews in Israel and the U.S. will probably remain about the same. Although majorities of most demographic groups say that relations will remain about the same over the next 3 to 5 years, 23% of those who are considered highly observant feel relations between the two groups will get closer, as do 23% of those earning less than $40,000, and 20% of the elderly. Orthodox Jews had similar feelings, as well as 22% of Conservative Jews.

Opinions About Israeli Government
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's favorability is not stellar among Jews in this country. Just 45% say they have a favorable impression of him, 34% have an unfavorable impression, with 21% undecided. Almost half (46%) of the politically self-described liberals have an unfavorable opinion of the prime minister, while the politically self-described moderates and conservatives have a positive opinion (51%, 50%, respectively) of the Israeli leader. This is much more negative than his ratings in a 1997 AJC poll (75% favorable, 18% unfavorable) but slightly better than a 1996 AJC survey where he received 37% favorable and 37% unfavorable. The '96 poll was taken in the aftermath of Rabin's assassination. In a Times poll among adults nationwide in January '98, he fared much better. Almost 3 out of five (59%) say they have a favorable impression of the Israeli Prime Minister, 22% unfavorable.
    The Jews that are highly observant have a much higher opinion of Natanyahu (64% favorable), than those who are moderately observant (44%) and those who are low observant (33%). The highly affluent are more negative of him than those earning less than $40,000 (43% for those earning $100K or more to 28% for those earning less than $40K).This may correlate to the fact that 36% believe that the present government in Israel contributes to a worse relationship between US and Israel. Half of respondents earning $100,000 or more say the present government has made it worse, as do 41% of men and 46% of self-described liberals. A fifth of all respondents say better and a third say no difference.
    Although 54% say relations between Israel and the U.S. have remained the same, about a quarter (23%) say that relations between Israel and the US are worse than they have been in the past. Almost 3 in 10 each of men and those earning more than $100,000 and those 45-64 years old feel that relations have gotten worse. Less than a fifth (17%) feel relations are better than they have in the past.
    Two-thirds who believe the relations between the US and Israel are worse than they have been in the past blame it on the present government in Israel. Conversely, nearly half (47%) who think relations between the two countries have gotten better, give credit to the present government in Israel.
    Interestingly, 49% of American Jews believe that their views should be taken into account in Israel's policies, 48% don't think Jews in America should have any influence in Israeli policies. Why is that? Do they feel that all Jews have a stake in a Jewish homeland and what goes on in Israel will have some sort of impact on them. Do they have a connection? Even those who are in the low observant category believe that American Jews should have some sort of influence over Israel policies (43%). And half of non-affiliated Jews also believe this. The question is: Is Israel a religious state or a secular state that has Judaism as its main religion?
    Half of the American Jews think Israel should be a state governed by civil laws and 44% think it should be governed by both civil law and religious law. Virtually no one says it should be governed only by religious law. Even those 9% who say they are Orthodox believe it should be a combination of religious and secular laws governing the Jewish homeland. Conservative Jews opt for combination of laws (54%) while Reform Jews say Israel should be governed by just civil laws (59%).

Israel and the Peace Process
While American Jews are somewhat ambivalent about their feelings of the Israel Prime Minister, they decidedly don't like Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat (73% unfavorable, including 41% strongly unfavorable), 15% favorable, 12% undecided. And still, while they have very strong negative opinions about the Palestinian leader, they are not as strident about the Palestinian people. A third of the American Jews say they have a favorable opinion of the Palestinian people, 39% unfavorable and 28% have no opinion. Those highly observant are more unfavorable toward these people (45%) than those who are low observers (35%). In a Times January Ô98 poll, 22% of the American people had a favorable impression of Yasser Arafat, 32% unfavorable opinion and 46% had no opinion. And in another Times poll of Jewish Americans taken ten years ago, 27% had a favorable opinion of the Palestinian people, while 35% had an unfavorable opinion and 38% had no opinion.
    More than two out of five respondents (41%) say they are less optimistic than they were a year ago about the chance for a lasting peace between Israel and the Arabs. Less than one in 10 say they are more optimistic and 48% say they think the chances are the same as they were one year ago. These findings have changed sharply from an AJC poll taken in 1997, 17% were more optimistic, 23% less optimistic and 58% say the chances are the same.Many agree that Netanyahu is sincere when he says he wants to continue the peace process, 27% say he isn't sincere. Conversely, half believe Arafat is not sincere when he says he wants to continue the peace process, 37% think he is sincere.
    Of those who are less optimistic about a lasting peace, 38% believe Prime Minister Netanyahu is not sincere when he says he wants peace (52% believe his sincerity). Conversely, of those who are more optimistic, three-quarters (77%) don't question Netanyahu's sincerity about wanting peace (14% don't think he is sincere.)More than a third believe the peace process has made Israel less secure, 18% say more secure and another third (35%) say it has had no effect. According to the highly observant Jew, the peace process has made Israel less secure than more secure (41%-17%). They feel somewhat more pessimistic about Israel's security than the moderate observant Jew (36% less secure, 16% more secure) and the low observant Jew (29% less secure, 21% more secure). And not surprisingly, a huge majority of Orthodox say Israel is less secure because of the peace process, while a third of Conservatives and almost 2 in 5 Reform Jews also feel that way. In an unaided question, 37% approve of the Oslo Accord (without explaining what was in the Oslo Accord), 11% disapproved and 52% had no opinion. When given an explanation of the accord, 66% approved, 22% disapproved and 12% didn't know. The Conservative (63%) and Reform (69%) Jews and the non-affiliated Jews (75%) all approve of the Oslo Accord, which agreed to return part of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians in exchange for peace and official recognition of Israel by the Palestinians. However, Orthodox Jews disapprove of the Oslo Accord. The politically self-described liberals are more approving of the peace agreement than their moderate and conservative counterparts (76%-64%- 50% respectively).
    Sixty-two percent have heard or read about relations between the Israelis and Palestinians. Of those who approve of the Oslo Accord when explained to them: a third say Israel is less secure because of the peace process and 21% say more secure; 60% believe Netanyahu is sincere; and 43% think Arafat is sincere. Of those who disapprove of the peace process: 44% say Israel is less secure and 11% say more secure; 61% believe the prime minister is sincere; and 24% think Arafat is sincere.
    In order to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians, 7% say Israel should be willing to give up all its land on the West Bank, 11% say most, 32% some, 19% only a small part of it and 16% say no land should be given up. If the respondents disapprove of the Oslo Accord, nearly half (47%) say no land should be give up for peace. However if the respondents approve of the Oslo Accord, 82% say land on the West Bank should be given up in order to reach a peace agreement. Even if respondents disapprove of the peace agreement, they are split on whether to give up land or not (48%-47%). Surprisingly, only slightly more than a third of Orthodox Jews say no land for peace, compared to 16% for Conservative, 15% for Reform, and 12% for non-affiliated Jews. The respondents also believe (53%) that expanded settlements in the West Bank and Gaza should not go forward. Most groups don't want expansion of these settlements; however there are some groups that are split on this issue: the younger age group, 18-29 years old (44% yes, 44% no), and the highly observant (42%-44%). The Orthodox and those with high school or less think settlements should be expanded in these areas. More than two out five (44%) of the politically self-described conservatives want West Bank and Gaza settlement expansion, while a quarter (25%) of the self-described liberals and a third (34%) of the self-described conservatives feel the same way.
    There is support for an independent Palestinian state in the Middle East (albeit not strong--26% strongly approve, 42% somewhat approve, a combined 68%), 19% disapprove and 13% are undecided. Most demographic groups, including all observant groups approve of the idea of an independent state for Palestinians. Orthodox Jews do not support this notion, while 65% of Conservative, 73% of Reform Jews and 80% of non-affiliated do.
    Regardless of whether respondents support or oppose an independent Palestine, 16% believe a Palestinian state is certain to come about sometime in the future, 51% somewhat likely, (a combined 67% think it will happen) 18% not very likely and 5% not likely at all. All demographic groups believe the inevitable that this event will take place.
    Perhaps the reason why people are less optimistic about the chances of a lasting peace and don't believe Israel is more secure because of the peace agreement is because nearly 3 out of 5 (57%) don't agree with the statement that true peace with the Palestinians will also put an end to conflicts with other Arab nations. There is the ongoing threat of terrorism from militant groups supported by other Arab nations that will not end with the Palestinians getting their own homeland. Until these incidents stop or until Arab nations speak out against these attacks against Israel, or Arab nations in the region recognize the existence of Israel, then American Jews will always feel this uneasiness.
    A third of the respondents say that disturbances by Palestinians in the occupied territories are acts of civil disobedience. 49% say they are acts of war against the government of Israel and 17% are undecided. A third of Conservative Jews (33%) and 2 out of five Reform Jews (39%) say it is civil disobedience, while Orthodox Jews overwhelmingly say the disturbances are acts of war. The boomers think it is more an act of civil disobedience than their younger or older counterparts. Men (37%) slightly more than women (31%) say it is civil disobedience. Also the more the respondents are liberal-thinking ideologically, the more they feel the Palestinians' disturbances are acts of civil disobedience rather than acts of war against the state of Israel (40% of self-described liberals, 33% of self-described moderates and 27% of self-described conservatives believe it is civil disobedience).
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