American and Israeli Jews are split on central issues such as Trump’s approach to Israel, the decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and support for a two-state solution.
By: World Israel News Staff
American Jews and Israelis have divergent views on a broad set of burning issues of concern to the Jewish people, according to a survey released Sunday by the American Jewish Committee ahead of a major conference taking place in Jerusalem.
US President Donald Trump is a matter of dissent with very disparate views being held by US and Israel Jews. Regarding Trump’s approach to Israeli-US relations, 77% of Israeli Jews said that approve of the way Trump has conducted the relations while 44% of Jews in American did.
A majority, 57%, of US Jews, disapprove, while only 10% of Israelis do.
Trump’s December decision to give official US recognition to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the consequent decision to move its embassy there, a huge majority of 85% of Israeli Jews were approving in contrast to 46% of US Jews. Only 7% of Israelis disapproved and 47% of US Jews opposed the moves.
Another point of dissent was the two-state solution and peace prospects with the Palestinians. While 48% of Israelis said they oppose a two-state solution established in Judea Samaria, even if the resulting Palestinian state would be demilitarized, just 30% of US Jews said they opposed it.
At 51%, more US Jews favor a two-state solution, while 44% of Israelis favor it.
Israelis and Palestinians were slightly closer regarding their forecast for the chances for peace. Forty-two percent of Israelis said that there would be a decline in the chances for peace over the next five years and 37% said the chances would remain unchanged. Just 13% say chances would improve.
In contrast, 56% of US Jews say the chances will stay the same, 22% say they will decline and 18% they will improve.
A full 80% of American Jews said they wanted Israel to make the equalize the status of Orthodox and non-Orthodox rabbis, while 49% of Israelis did. Seventeen percent of US Jews and 45% of Israelis favor the status quo.
Most Israelis – 55% – are in favor of introducing civil marriage and divorce to Israel while a minority – 40% – oppose the change. Jews in America were even more unequivocal about dismantling the Orthodox monopoly over marriage and divorce with 81% who said they backed civil marriage and divorces and 13% who said they were against it.
Creation of an egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall was another issue which split US and Israeli Jews. Overwhelmingly—73%— American Jews said they favored providing a space near the Western Wall for mixed-gender prayer and a minority – 21% opposed do so. A minority of Israelis – 42% – said they were in favor while less than half – 48% – opposed it.
Both in the US and in Israel there was a minority of Jews who supported dismantling all the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria – 15% of American Jews and 4% of Israelis.
When asked about partial dismantling however there were slightly higher numbers both in Israel and in America, though neither Israeli nor American Jews supported even partial dismantling wholeheartedly. Forty-four percent of US Jews and 35% of Israelis say Israel should be willing to dismantle some of the settlements.
Thirty-five percent of US Jews and 54% of Israelis say Israel should not dismantle any of the settlements.
More than two-thirds of Israeli Jews, 68%, say it is inappropriate for American Jews to attempt to influence Israeli policy on such issues as national security and peace negotiations with the Palestinians, and 25% say it is appropriate.
A majority of US Jews, 53%, say it is appropriate and 43% say it is not.