Poll: 76% of American Jews Think Arabs Want to Destroy Israel

51% of U.S. Jews approve of the way Obama is handling his job - a 6% drop since March; 95% think that the Palestinians should recognize Israel as a Jewish state in any peace settlement.

Natasha Mozgovaya
Natasha Mozgovaya
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Natasha Mozgovaya
Natasha Mozgovaya

An overwhelming majority of American Jews believe that the goal of the Arabs "is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction of Israel," according to a recent poll released by the American Jewish Committee.

Approximately 76% of respondents in the AJC's fall 2010 Survey of American Jewish Opinion agreed with a question to that effect, while only 20% disagreed.

Meanwhile, 95% of the American Jews think Palestinians should be required to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in any future peace settlement.

Some 82% said Israel could not achieve peace with Hamas-led government, while 14% were optimistic - a 6 point drop since the AJC's March survey.

Ninety-five percent of respondents said Palestinians should be required to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Some 48% support the establishment of the Palestinian state, while 45% oppose it in the current situation, and 6% said they were not sure.

Gordis asserts U.S. Jews are so repelled by particularism they've rejected Zionism. But 95 percent of US Jews hold favorable views of IsraelCredit: AP

Approximately 18% said they are less optimistic about the chance for a lasting peace between Israel and the Arabs than one year ago, 8% are more optimistic, and 75% maintained the same level of optimism (or pessimism) as one year ago.

Sixty-percent say Israel should not compromise on Jerusalem as a united city under Israeli jurisdiction, with 35% in favor of a compromise. Next week, Jewish leaders will gather in Jerusalem to discuss issues in the negotiations and the part Diaspora Jews should play in key decisions.

Fifty-six percent of respondents think Israel should dismantle some settlements following the peace agreement with Palestinians, 6% think it should dismantle all West Bank settlements, and 37% think it should dismantle none.

The survey also found that the U.S. Jewish community's support of President Barack Obama has significantly declined, while a majority approve of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Only 51% of respondents in the survey said they approved of the way Obama has been handling his job - a fall of 6% since the AJC's March survey. Some 78% of U.S. Jews voted for Obama in 2008.

Approximately 49% of U.S. Jews approve of the Obama administrations handling of U.S.-Israel relations, while 45% disapprove. AJCs survey in March found that 55% approved and 37% disapproved. In 2009 survey, 54% approved, and 32% disapproved.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gets much higher approval for his handling of the U.S.-Israel relations, with a 62% approval against 27% disapproval and 11% not sure."

Obama's approval rating among all voters is even lower - in the recent Bloomberg survey, he scored backing from only 47% percent of reports, while the Gallup poll found him taking 45%. His support is the highest among African Americans, at 91%, and self-identified democrats, at 79%.

Only 43% approve of the Obama administration's handling of the Iran nuclear issue, while 46% disapprove. In March, 47% approved it, 42% disapproved, and 11% were not sure). 44% said there was little chance the current Administrations dual-track policy, combining proposal of dialogue and sanctions, will yield positive results, while 28% there is no chance for it. Only 4% gave it a good chance and 23% - some chance.

If diplomacy fails, 59% would support military action against Iran to stop its nuclear program, while 35% would oppose it. 70% will support Israeli preventive strike, while 26% would oppose it.

Despite high level of disillusionment, 92% of the Jewish respondents said they were planning to vote in midterm elections in November – with 57% saying it would be better for Democrats to take the majority at Congress, while 33% prefer Republicans.

The number one issue for the Jewish voters in these elections is the economy, with 87% defining it as very important. Sixty-one percent said Israel is very important to them in these elections.

Referring to the last years developments affecting the relationship between Turkey and Israel, 71% of the American Jews think Turkish government today is not a friend of Israel, while 50% think its neither a friend of the U.S. (35% think it is, while 15% were not sure).

The AJC survey conducted by telephone between September 6 and October 8 asked 800 self-identifying Jewish respondents their opinions on a number of topics, including Obamas handling of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Iran and U.S-Israeli relations.



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