(JNS.org) Diaspora Jews increasingly doubt that Israel wants peace with the Palestinians and are growing more uneasy about discussing Israel in their local communities, a new wide-ranging study has found.
According to a study by the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) titled “Jewish Values and Israel’s Use of Force in Armed Conflict: Perspectives from World Jewry,” many Jews around the world “doubt that Israel truly wishes to reach a peace settlement with the Palestinians, and few believe it is making the necessary effort to achieve one.”
The survey also found that it has become “increasingly difficult” for Jewish communities to discuss Israel “because of the bitter political disputes these discussions spark.”
“This difficulty may lead to the exclusion of Israel from Diaspora community agendas, and is an obstacle to communicating Israel’s actions and policies to the Jewish public within a sympathetic communal framework,” the study said.
But the study also found that many Diaspora Jews agree that Israel is in a difficult position and approve “of the way Israel and the IDF use force in asymmetrical confrontations.”
Additionally, many Diaspora Jews believe that the IDF has a “high moral caliber,” and most agree that the IDF is the “world’s most moral army.”
The JPPI offered a number of recommendations, including that Israel should take into account how its use of force affects relations between Diaspora Jews and the non-Jewish world. The institute suggested that Israel listen to criticism of its public relations efforts by Diaspora Jews, and argued the IDF’s image as a “moral army” should be cultivated and preserved by not undermining that image through statements or messages. Israel should foster greater interaction between IDF soldiers and Diaspora Jewish communities, said the JPPI, which conducted the survey through 40 discussion groups and seminars as well as questionnaires with Jewish communities around the world.