For several years, numerous newspaper and magazine articles and even entire books have been devoted to the theme of a growing divide between Israel and American Jewry. Yet U.S. Jews overwhelmingly tell pollsters that they support the Jewish state. Frank Newport takes a close look at the results of several different surveys:
My recent review of the available data shows that about nine in ten American Jews are more sympathetic to Israel than to the Palestinians, compared with about six in ten of all Americans. Additionally, 95 percent of Jews have favorable views of Israel, while 10 percent have favorable views of the Palestinian Authority—[making Jews] significantly more pro-Israel than the overall national averages of 71 percent having favorable views of Israel and 21 percent views of the Palestinian Authority.
Research conducted in 2013 by the Pew Research Center showed that 76 percent of Jews (identified by religion) said they were at least somewhat emotionally attached to Israel. In addition, almost half said that caring about Israel is an essential part of being Jewish, with most of the rest saying it is important although not essential, and nearly half reporting that they had personally traveled to Israel.
Nonetheless, Jews’ longstanding loyalty to the Democratic party remains unchanged:
The clear majority of Jewish Americans identify with or lean toward the Democratic party, and we find no evidence that this has changed significantly during the Trump administration so far. Donald Trump took office in January 2017, and Gallup’s aggregated surveys conducted from February through December of that year show that 68 percent of Jews identified as Democratic or as independents who leaned toward the Democratic party, while 28 percent identified as or leaned Republican.
So far this year, using an aggregated sample of Gallup polls conducted from January through August, 65 percent of Jews identify with or lean toward the Democratic party, with 30 percent identifying with or leaning toward the Republican party. In terms of ideology, 44 percent of American Jews are liberal, much higher than the overall 25 percent among the total population, making Jews the most liberal of any major religious group.