Jewish-American Leaders Dismiss Pew Findings on Negative Attitudes Toward Israel

Establishment sticks to guns even as consensus frays.

The Forward
The Forward
The Forward
The Forward

American Jews are far more critical of Israel than the Jewish establishment, according to the new Pew survey, but Jewish leaders say the findings won’t change their positions.

Officials with leading Jewish organizations told the Forward that the 48 percent of American Jews who Pew says think the Israeli government isn’t making a “sincere effort” to come to a peace deal are either uninformed, unengaged, or wrong. They also asserted that those respondents don’t represent their constituency.

“You know who the Jewish establishment represents? Those who care,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “This is a poll of everybody. Some care, some don’t care.”

“I think it’s interesting, we need to be aware,” he said. “But I’m not going to follow this.”

Pew’s Portrait of Jewish Americans, based on interviews with 3,500 Jews in all 50 states, found that most Jews feel attached to Israel. But it also found high levels of skepticism of the Israeli government and high levels of opposition to the continued construction of settlements in the West Bank.

Read more at the Forward.

New Jewish immigrants from the U.S. and Canada arriving at Ben-Gurion International Airport, July 23, 2013.Credit: AP

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