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October 28, 2013 10:12 am

Survey of American Jews Shows Pessimism Over Arab Spring, Iran’s Nuclear Program

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President Obama greets AIPAC supporters following his speech to the group in 2012. Photo: Ruvi Leider.

American Jews are generally pessimistic about current political developments across the Middle East, notably the “Arab Spring,” Iran’s nuclear program and Arab intentions regarding Israel, a new survey published by the American Jewish Committee reveals.

The AJC survey, conducted annually, also gauged Jewish opinions on likely U.S. presidential candidates for 2016, U.S.-Israel relations, the role of religion in Israel, and President Obama’s handling of a range of foreign and domestic policy issues.

“This annual survey, which AJC has sponsored for many years, reveals many fascinating insights about the Jewish outlook. Among them are that American Jews are highly engaged in, and concerned about, top U.S. foreign policy challenges,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris.

“Our survey shows that they are particularly worried about Iran’s drive for nuclear-weapons capacity. And despite all the reports of a decline in American Jewish enthusiasm for Israel, over three-quarters of the respondents believe that caring about Israel is a key component of Jewish identity,” he said.

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On the 2016 presidential race, Hillary Clinton is the candidate with the most positive sentiment. She is followed by Joe Biden, John Kerry, Chris Christie, Andrew Cuomo, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul.

The survey also gauged sentiment on changes in several Middle Eastern countries since the “Arab Spring” began nearly three years ago; 56 percent of respondents said they are pessimistic, and 40 percent said they are optimistic.

While American Jews are distrustful of the long-term goals of Arabs regarding Israel, half of the respondents favored the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The AJC said 50 percent are in favor and 47 percent oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state. In 2010, 48 percent favored and 45 percent opposed.

More details on the poll can be found at the American Jewish Committee’s website.

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  • Patricia

    American’s support of Israel is important to the health of America. The Nations going against Israel will be punished.

    • MARIA H. DEFRAGA

      A BIG AMEN:)

  • CSW

    I so agree judorebbe, it’s amazing how blind the majority of Jews have become in the US. The Democrat Party is not the friend of the Jews (nor the blacks, middle class, or the poor), yet you cannot convince them or get them to see how they are used and pulled into dependency. Those evil Republicans and the religious right have done so much more for Israel and the Jewish fight against anti semintism. Why can’t they see this?

  • judorebbe

    The American Jewish community is so pathologically assimilated that it represents very little political influence, any longer. It is now, largely, part of the politically correct, willfully blind gaggle of useful idiots that will go along with whatever the top brass of the Democratic Party advocates.
    Like an abusive relationship – Should leave, but won’t.

    • Efram Paul

      So much truth. But what’s the alternative? Government shutdown? Eliminating food stamps, Social Security, Medicare? Continuing to cut taxes on those who need it least, and making it up from the rest of us?

      Many American Jews have been, frankly, disenfranchised. You are right, the Democratic Party’s rising anti-Semitism is apparent, and comes straight from the top. I could not vote for the man last year. But a love of Israel cannot blind me to the retrogressive, insanely greedy and selfish agenda of the Republican Party. They are the most immoral party in US history since the Know Nothings. Most of them (excluding hardcore Nazis such as Ron Paul, Rand Paul?, and Pat Buchanan), are pro-Israel, and for that I am grateful. But how can a man with a conscience support the rest of their hateful agenda? Judaism believes in helping our fellow man, respecting the environment of the earth lent to us by G-d, dealing ethically with others. The Republican Party stands foursquare against all of this. What is someone, with ethics, to think when he sees a group of Republicans applauding wildly when a candidate asks if someone should be allowed to die if he has no health insurance? And don’t tell me that is a small minority, it is indicative of the leadership of the party, the tea party for sure, but the rest of it as well.

      Personally, I am disgusted and angry with the political situation as it is. The GENUINELY liberal era of the Democratic Party is over, and has been replaced by politically-coerced censorship, which includes the rise of anti-Semitism. I cannot support that no matter what. But I also cannot support the troglodytes who rule the Republican Party.

      That is why so many Jews stay in this dysfunctional relationship. Offer us a choice!

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