A recent survey underscores the importance Jews living outside of Israel place on Jerusalem, which is both the nation’s capital and the eternal home of the Jewish people.
By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
More than 500 people from over 19 communities in seven countries were consulted in a survey conducted by a leading Jewish think-tank.
The Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) conducted discussions on Jerusalem around the world in the early part of 2017 and released its report on Tuesday, entitled “Jerusalem and the Jewish People: Unity and Controversy.”
While many discussion participants believe that Israel ought to take Diaspora Jewry’s concerns on a range of subjects into consideration, the report found that their support for Jerusalem remained heartfelt and strong.
Half “completely” agreed with the statement, “When visiting Jerusalem I feel at home,” and 30 percent more “somewhat” agreed with this statement. A Dialogue participant in Australia described his feelings this way: “I love the culture of Jerusalem, I would love to buy an apartment around the German Colony and spend six months of the year there. I could walk the streets all day. It feels safe. It feels like home.” A participant in Zurich commented: “Jerusalem is like an old spouse: she is not as beautiful as she once was, but she still means so very much to me.”
Interestingly, the report notes that these Diaspora Jews actually outpolled Israeli Jews when asked if they felt “highly connected” to Jerusalem, 70% to 53%. And the flip side was also consistent: Almost 10% of Israeli Jews said they are “not at all connected” to Jerusalem, while only 1% of the JPPI Dialogue participants agreed with this statement. It should be noted that those Israelis who self-identify as secular religiously and left-wing politically were much more likely to say that they had a weaker connection than religious or right-wing Jews.
Politically speaking, even though more than half (55%) said that Jerusalem should never be divided, almost 70% said that all countries should move their embassies there. And regarding the holiest site to Jews, almost 75% agreed (or somewhat agreed) with the statement that “The Temple Mount must remain under Israeli jurisdiction.”
However, the desire for peace was still paramount, as seen in the answer to the statement: “In the framework of a permanent peace with the Palestinians, if satisfied with the rest of the agreement, Israel should be willing to compromise on the status of Jerusalem as a united city under Israeli jurisdiction.” In such a case, nearly 60% agreed that Israel should compromise.
Besides polling in Israel, the seminars conducted by JPPI took place in Switzerland, France, Australia, Brazil, Canada and across the United States.