October 27, 2006
Contact: Morton A. Klein, 212-481-1500
A new AJC poll has revealed that 81% of American Jews agree that â€œThe goal of the Arabs is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction of Israel,â€ with only 13% disagreeing. Other findings in the poll include:
* 56% believe that Israelis and Arabs will never have peace, while 38% believe that they will eventually;
* 64% agree that the West and Muslim worlds are engaged in a clash of civilizations, while 29% disagree;
* 66% believe that the United Nations treats Israel unfairly, while 27% disagree;
* 57% support Israel taking military action against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons, while 35% oppose it;
* 91% believe that anti-Semitism is a problem within the United States (26% believe it be a very serious problem), while 9% disagree;
* 96% believe that anti-Semitism in the Muslim world is a problem (73% believe it to be a very serious problem), while 2% disagree;
* 53% believe that international anti-Semitism will increase (17% believe it will greatly increase), while 8% believe it will decrease;
* 89% believe that being Jewish is important in their lives (61% believe it to be very important) while 10% disagree;
* 76% feel close to Israel (37% feel very close), while 22% do not;
* 74% agree that caring about Israel is very important part of their being Jewish, while 25% disagree.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, â€œThese new poll results show a breathtaking turnaround in attitude by American Jews. When the Oslo process began and for many years thereafter, American Jews felt that the Arab war against Israel was simply about making major concessions by giving away Judea, Samaria and Gaza and parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Arabs. American Jews believed that these concessions would end the problem and bring peace. Now after Israel has given away almost half of Judea and Samaria, all of Gaza and after Prime Minister Barak offered virtually all of the disputed territory and a state; the response was simply the biggest terror war against Israel in its history and the realization by American Jews that Israelâ€™s destruction is the goal, not land and a Palestinian state.
â€œAmerican Jews are now also aware that this is not an isolated conflict but that it fits into a larger pattern of jihadist violence against other Western democracies. In this context, it makes sense they see the threat posed to Israel by Iran and its drive to acquire nuclear weapons as so serious that they support Israel taking action to prevent it from happening. American Jews also are much more aware of the fact that the rise of anti-Semitic incidents worldwide is also part of this larger pattern and that even American Jews are not immune. It is deeply gratifying that the vast majority of American Jews feel that Israel is a very important part of their identity and concerns.â€
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The Zionist Organization of America, founded in 1897, is the oldest pro-Israel organization in the United States. The ZOA works to strengthen U.S.-Israel relations, educates the American public and Congress about the dangers that Israel faces, and combats anti-Israel bias in the media and on college campuses. Its past presidents have included Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and Rabbi Dr. Abba Hillel Silver.