US Jews Still Support Israel

Survey shows that American Jews, young and old, are still attached to Israel despite recent claims to the contrary.

Elad Benari , | updated: 5:00 AM


A new study in the US shows that American Jews are still attached to Israel,

“Still Connected: American Jewish Attitudes About Israel” is the title of the study, which was published in August by the Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Jewish Studies at Brandeis University. Authored by Theodore Sasson, Benjamin Phillips, Charles Kadushin, and Leonard Saxe, it is based on a survey which was conducted among 1,200 individuals who were identified as Jewish in a large national panel.

The study was done in response to suggestions by some media outlets that younger American Jews were being alienated from Israel due to factors such as the flotilla incident and the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza.

The study, however, found that 63 percent of American Jews still feel connected to Israel, and 75 percent said that caring about Israel is a significant part of their Jewish identity. This connection is true for both younger and older respondents.

In fact, no relation was found between political views and the strength of the attachment to Israel.

The survey also dealt with the US support for Israel, and found that 52 percent of respondents characterized the current level of US support for Israel as "about right", 39 percent felt US support was too little, and  only 9 percent said it was too much.

In regards to the May 31 flotilla incident, 61 percent of respondents blamed “pro-Palestinian activists” for the incident, and only 10 percent blamed Israel.

The study also finds that direct experience with Israel affects younger Jews’ relationship to the country. Young adults who participated in a Birthright Israel trip were more likely to say they felt very connected to Israel, as were those who had visited Israel in any capacity.