(June 4, 2019 / JNS) A set of surveys conducted by the American Jewish Committee of Israeli, American and French Jews has brought to light significant differences in outlook towards Israel—and towards each other—between the groups.
On the question of the importance of being Jewish to their lives, 51 percent of Israeli Jews said it was “most important,” 29 percent very important, and just 8 percent “not too” or “not at all” important.
Among American and French Jews, 41 percent and 33 percent found it “very important,” respectively; 35 percent and 32 percent “somewhat important;” and 24 percent and 32 percent “not too” or “not at all” important.
A significant contrast was also found in the three groups’ outlook on the Jewish nation. While 31 percent of Israeli Jews consider American Jews their siblings and 47 percent their cousins or extended family, just 13 percent of American Jews see Israeli Jews as their siblings, with 58 percent viewing them as cousins or extended family and 28 percent not seeing Israeli Jews as family at all.
Thirty-one percent of French Jews said they consider Israeli Jews their siblings.
While 62 percent of American Jews believe caring about Israel is a “very important part of my being a Jew,” 72 percent agreed that “a thriving State of Israel is vital for the long-term future of the Jewish people.”
Among Israelis, however, while 50 percent said that “living in Israel is a very important part of my being a Jew,” a whopping 91 percent said the long-term future of the Jewish people was linked to the future of the State of Israel.
Regarding a two-state solution to Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians, 51 percent of Israelis either “strongly oppose” or “somewhat oppose” a two-state solution, with 39 percent in favor of the idea. Among younger Israelis, 42.4 percent “strongly oppose,” along with 56.8 percent of ultra-Orthodox Israelis.
The study also showed that 50 percent of Israelis say not a single Jewish community in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria should be dismantled for the sake of such a solution.
Yet just 26 percent of American Jews oppose a two-state solution, with 64 percent supporting the creation of a Palestinian state on land in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria.
A majority of Israelis, 63.5 percent, said it is “not appropriate for American Jews to attempt to influence Israeli policy on such issues as national security and peace negotiations with the Palestinians,” while 57 percent of American Jews felt they should have a say.