US Jews more optimistic about Israel's future than America's, study shows

Israel-Gaza war is changing American Jews' perspectives

Supporters and families of hostages rally outside the US consulate in Tel Aviv on June 3. Reuters
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As Israel’s war in Gaza approaches its ninth month, Jewish people in America feel more optimistic about Israel’s future than that of the US, a survey released on Tuesday found.

The Jewish People Policy Institute in Jerusalem, whose objective is to help secure the future of Jewish people, has been polling respondents since January on the effects of the war.

The latest survey showed that American and Israeli Jews were “cautiously optimistic” about the future of Israel, while they were generally less optimistic about the future of the US.

The survey also shows an increasing disinterest in the conflict and growing concern for security.

Recent events and declarations from US President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken show that “Jews, including the most liberal Jews, feel that the administration's support towards Israel is weakening", said Shuki Friedman, vice president of the institute.

The poll breaks respondents into five categories: strong liberal; leaning liberal; centrist; leaning conservative; and strong conservative.

It found that every group but strong conservatives were following the conflict less closely than in the days after October 7, when Hamas militants attacked southern Israel killing 1,200 people and kidnapping another 240.

The survey also suggests that the pro-Palestinian student protests in university campuses across the US and much of the world left those who responded feeling less secure and frustrated by how authorities handled them.

“Jews feel that they haven’t been protected recently on campuses and on the streets by the administration and US authorities and campus authorities,” Mr Friedman told The National.

Only 32 per cent of “strong liberal” Jews found that the Biden administration had handled the protests well.

Other respondents found the administration had done a poor job in dealing with the demonstrations.

The survey also found that since January, there is a growing feeling that the US no longer supports Israel enough and most respondents felt Mr Biden was wrong to challenge Israel over Rafah.

Updated: June 04, 2024, 7:58 PM