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September 30, 2016 4:33 pm
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New Survey: Israeli and US Jews Differ Dramatically on What They See as Biggest Problem Facing Jewish State

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

New survey finds that Jews in Israel and the US differ dramatically on what they view as the most important problem facing the Jewish state. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A new survey finds that Jews in Israel and the US differ dramatically on what they view as the most important problem facing the Jewish state. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Jews in Israel and the US differ dramatically on what they see as the most important problem facing the Jewish state, a Pew Research Center survey published earlier this week found.

According to the survey results, a clear majority — 66% — of American Jews believe the biggest future issue facing Israel stems from security threats, violence and terrorism. Only 38% of Israeli Jews feel the same way. Meanwhile, 39% of Israeli Jews say economic problems are the most significant future concern for their nation, a view held by only 1% of American Jews.

This finding, the survey said, “suggests that many Jews in the United States either don’t know much about Israelis’ day-to-day economic challenges or don’t worry much about them.”

The survey also found a wide gap in how Israeli and American Jews think about a potential Palestinian state. While 61% of American Jews feel that Israel and an independent Palestinian state can coexist peacefully, only 43% of Israeli Jews agree with them.

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Furthermore, 52% of Israeli Jews believe the US is not supportive enough of Israel, while only 31% of American Jews concur with that sentiment.

On the issue of settlements, 42% of Israeli Jews think that Jewish communities in the West Bank bolster Israel’s security — an assessment shared by only 17% of American Jews.

Politically, only 8% of Israelis define themselves as left-wing. A majority — 55% — call themselves centrists, and 29% characterize themselves as rightists. For American Jews, the picture is entirely different — 49% left-wing, 29% center and 19% right-wing.

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