Friday, December 02, 2005

American Jewish Support for Israel Weakening

This article doesn't state this; but that seems to be the tacit conclusion from the poll.
US Jews are strong supporters of Israel but usually tend to refrain from defending Israel publicly. This is one of the main conclusions of a new poll that surveyed the views of American Jews...

Among the 800 American Jews that took part in the survey, 82% said they support Israel, most of them characterizing themselves as strong supporters. Analyzing the supporters, Luntz found that backing Israel is stronger among older Jews, among those who belong to the Conservative movement and among Jews who attended Jewish day schools and visited Israel.

In other words, support for Israel is growing more tepid among younger, liberal and/or non-religious Jews who have no connection to their faith or the Jewish homeland. Well that's not surprising. Unfortunately. And if they are educated about Israel only from liberal media, they won't be developing positive views any time soon.
But even with significant support rates for Israel in the American Jewish community, the poll finds a problem in translating this support to an active pro-Israeli discourse in the American society. When asked if they engage in conversation about Israel or defend Israel while talking to non-Jews, most of the participants replied negatively. Only 29% talk about Israel frequently, while 61% almost never do so.

This finding is significant because it demonstrates the difficulty of promoting a pro-Israel agenda in the US, where, according to another poll performed by The Israel Project, graduate students in the US "are misinformed about the Arab-Israeli conflict and hold negative attitudes towards Jews".

You know, Jews are not normally that inarticulate. I think this shows their lack of interest in the subject. And of course, if no one they know is passing on positive information to them about their religion or about Israel, they won't have a positive role model influencing them to want to inform themselves.

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