New ADL Poll: American Jews Support Direct Negotiations Between the Parties as Path to Two-State Solution
Strong Support for Israel and the U.S. to Act Against Iran If Needed
Washington, DC, April 20, 2009 … The steadfast support of American Jews for Israel, for Israel's action in Gaza and for Israel's right, if all else fails, to use military force to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities, was reaffirmed by a survey commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The findings show that, overwhelmingly, American Jews believe that Israel is committed to peace with the Palestinians and reject the notion that America should pressure Israel to make peace.
The national telephone survey of 1,200 American Jews was conducted by Marttila Communications between March 31 and April 8 and has a margin of error of +/-2.8% for questions answered by the 1,200. The survey also used the technique of "split sampling" a process in which questions were asked of two demographically representative national samples of 600 each, with a margin of error of +/-4%.
• By a margin of 73%-2%, American Jews believe that Israel is doing more to bring peace to the region than the Palestinians (view graph).
• 74% believe that Hamas is not interested in peace, while 52% believe Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is (view graph).
• 61% of American Jews support the future creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza (view graph).
• Asked about the US role in the peace process, a small plurality (47%) believe the parties need to solve their own problems with the US playing the role of facilitator; versus 44% who believe peace depends on continuing US leadership and involvement (view graph).
• There is eroding support for Israel's 2005 withdrawal from Gaza; as late as January 2009, 63% of American Jews still supported it. Now, it's down to 54% (view graph).
• Sympathy with Israel vis-à-vis the Palestinians is overwhelming - 80% for Israel, versus 6% for the Palestinians (view graph).
• 74% approve of Israel's military action in Gaza, and by a margin of 66%-28%, American Jews supported the notion that Israel's military response in Gaza was appropriate and not excessive (view graph).
• 73% support Israel's right to close the borders to Gaza to prevent resupply of arms even if it slows down humanitarian relief (view graph).
• Regarding Iran, a significant majority (58%-27%) believe that if diplomatic and economic steps fail to get Iran to halt its uranium enrichment program, they would support Israel's right to destroy the Iranian nuclear facilities. And, under similar circumstances, American Jews would similarly support US military action by 55%-27% (view graph).
• 50% of American Jews support US direct negotiations with Iran without preconditions, while 45% believe the US should not enter into negotiations until Iran agrees to suspend its uranium enrichment (view graph).
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said the survey demonstrates that, "contrary to certain reports that American Jewish support for Israel is waning and that American Jews would welcome pressure by the U.S. on Israel, American Jews continue to support Israel overwhelmingly and advocate direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians as the best path for peace."
Mr. Foxman said the findings show that, "American Jews continue to believe that Israel wants peace with its neighbors, and continue to understand the threats to Israel and its legitimate right to defend itself, whether against Hamas rockets or Iran nuclear capabilities. That support for Israel will be very significant as the Jewish state faces immense challenges in the months and years ahead."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.