Settlements, Politics Are Just a Few of the Things Israeli and U.S. Jews Disagree About

Young American Jews, for example, are likely to say that Washington gives 'too much' support to Israel, according to Pew Research Center.


American and Israeli Jews are divided on settlements, the two-state solution and political outlook, according to a Pew Research Center report published Tuesday.

While a majority of American Jews (61 percent) said in 2013 that they believe “a way can be found for Israel and an independent Palestinian state to coexist peacefully with each other,” only 43 percent of their Israeli counterparts agreed with the assessment when asked the same question in 2014 and 2015.

A majority of both Israeli and American Jews seems to believe that Jewish settlements in the West Bank aren’t helping Israel's security, although the numbers varied widely between the two countries – with 42 percent of Israeli Jews agreeing that settlements aid Israel's security, and only 17 percent of Americans Jews concurring.

As for whether the United States is "supportive enough of Israel," a majority of Israeli Jews – 52 percent – believes that the U.S. isn’t supportive enough, as do 31 percent of American Jews. Age seems to come into play in this issue, with the research showing that "Younger American Jews are especially likely to question whether Israel’s government is sincerely seeking peace and to say the United States gives 'too much' support to Israel, leading some commentators to suggest that the two Jewish communities may be drifting apart," according to Pew.

Another point of divergence between Jews in Israel and the U.S. is their political outlook, according to the poll. In Israel, only 8 percent of Jewish adults identify their political ideology as "left," 55 percent as "center," and 37 percent as "right." In the U.S., meanwhile, 49 percent of Jewish adults define themselves as "liberal," 29 percent as "moderate," and only 19 percent as "conservative."  

Other differences between the Israeli and American Jewish populations highlighted by the report include religious observance and Jewish identity. American Jews, for example, are often part of organized denominations or "streams," such as Orthodox Judaism and the Conservative or Reform movements. In Israel, on the other hand, Jews place themselves in "informal categories of Jewish religious identity" – ultra-Orthodox, religious, traditional and secular, according to Pew.