Poll: Few American Jews back Judea and Samaria sovereignty plan

Just 12% of American Jews say they back Israeli plan to apply sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria, study shows.

David Rosenberg ,

Netanyahu proposes sovereignty plan September 10th 2019
Netanyahu proposes sovereignty plan September 10th 2019
Hadas Parush/Flash90

Americans who identify themselves as Jews oppose Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s sovereignty plan by a margin of more than three-to-one, a new survey shows.

A survey conducted by the Jewish Center for Public Affairs found that few American Jews support the plan to apply Israeli law to parts of Judea and Samaria without the signing of a final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

Taking into account that many people self-identify as Jews but are not halakhically Jewish due to non-Orthodox conversions and Reform recognition of patrilineal descent, any survey of "Jewish" opinion has a significant margin of error if it attempts to speak for Jews without giving any criteria for their being part of the survey. In addition, there is polarization on matters concerning Israel and religion between Orthodox (about 10% and growing) Jews and others, so that polling Jews without giving their affiliation is another cause for skewed results.

Just 8.01% of respondents say Israel should move forward immediately with the sovereignty plan, while another 4.19% say the plan should be implemented after the coronavirus has been contained, for a total of 12.20% who back the plan.

By comparison, 40.66% of respondents say they oppose the sovereignty plan regardless of tis timing, while a further 5.84% say that they have no opinion on the plan generally, but that it should not be taken up at the present time due to the coronavirus crisis.

A further 18.04% say that the Israeli government has the responsibility to decide whether and when to pursue the plan.

More than a quarter (25.41%) of respondents had no opinion on the issue whatsoever, aside from the 5.84% who have no opinion on the plan but oppose any moves at present.

Among those with an opinion, more than 59% oppose the plan regardless of its timing, while just 17.7% of those with an opinion support the sovereignty plan either being implemented immediately or after the coronavirus crisis. More than a quarter (26.2%) of those with an opinion on the plan say the Israeli government has the responsibility to decide.

Regarding the Black Lives Matter movement, a majority of American Jews expressed support for the movement, but most oppose some of its goals, including defunding their local law enforcement agencies. Most also oppose reparations payments to African Americans, and most would not yield their place in a school or place of work to an African American as part of an affirmative action program.

A total of 54.05% of respondents said they would take part in a Black Lives Matter-sponsored event against “systemic racism”, with only slightly more (57.17%) saying they would take part in such an event that was not sponsored by the Black Lives Matter movement.

Only 29.53% said they would not attend a BLM-sponsored event, with just 23.64% saying they would not attend a non-BLM sponsored event against “systemic racism”.

More than half 54.24% said they would “take a knee” as part of a protest against “systemic racism”.

But just 23.33% said they would be willing to personally yield their place at work or school as part of an affirmative action program, compared to 45.83% who said they would not be willing.

Just 29.54% of respondents say they support defunding their local police department, compared to 49.04% who do not support such a move.