Survey: Large gap separates Israeli and US Jews on Trump, peace, Jerusalem

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.

Peace process

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.

Religious pluralism

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.

Dismantling settlements

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.