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ADL Poll: Most US Jews Support Bombing Iran's Nuclear Facilities

Most American Jews support Israel’s right to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities, if all else fails, according to a survey commissioned by the ADL.
By Avraham Zuroff
First Publish: 4/21/2009, 7:44 AM / Last Update: 4/21/2009, 9:48 AM

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Most American Jews support Israel’s right to use military force to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities, if all else fails, according to a survey commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The findings, released on Monday, show that most American Jews believe that Israel is doing more to resolve the Arab-Israel conflict than the Palestinian Authority and reject the notion that America should pressure Israel to make peace.

The national telephone survey of 1,200 American Jews showed that 58 percent support Israel’s striking Iran’s nuclear facilities should diplomatic and economic measures fail. At the same time, 50 percent of US Jews support direct talks between the US and Iran, while 45 percent oppose direct talks until Iran suspends its uranium enrichment program.

Survey Highlights

• By a margin of 73%-2%, American Jews believe that Israel is doing more to bring peace to the region than the PA.

• 74% believe that Hamas is not interested in peace, while 52% believe Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is interested.

• 61% of American Jews support the future creation of a Palestinian state within Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

• 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.

• 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%.

• Sympathy with Israel vis-à-vis the PA Arabs is overwhelming - 80% for Israel, versus 6% for the Palestinians.

• 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.

• 73% support Israel’s right to close the borders to Gaza to prevent resupply of arms even if it slows down humanitarian relief.

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.”

Foxman additionally 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.” The ADL director stated 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 a leading organization in fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.