The L.A. Jewish Journal commissioned Jewish communal pollster Steven Cohen to poll American Jews on their attitude toward the Iran nuclear deal. The results are startling because they expose a huge divide between the positions of the Israel Lobby and Jewish leadership and the rest of the community. While the Lobby is preparing to spend $50-million or more in an all-out blitz to derail the deal before Congress, American Jews generally support it. Cohen finds that 49% of Jewish respondents support the deal and 31% oppose it. When asked whether Congress should support it, 53% said Yes, 35% No.
Among Jews under 40, the result was 59% in favor and 25% opposed. This confirms a rising generation gap between younger and older Jews around questions concerning Israel. This is a phenomenon that many polls have confirmed, most notably the Pew poll on American Jewish identity.
46% of Jews said the deal would lead to more stability in the region, while 41% said it would make the region more unstable. 49% believe it will endanger Israel while 33% believe it will make Israel safer. What’s especially interesting about this result is that American Jews distinguish between the regional stability of the Middle East and Israel’s stability. Given a choice, by a small margin most understand that regional stability is more important than Israel’s stability. Part of the reason for this dichotomy is the intransigence of Israel’s political leadership and the wedge its driven between Israel and the U.S. Most American Jews are saying: don’t make us choose sides because if you do you might not like the result.
The poll also tracked results for all Americans and found that 28% support the deal personally, while 24% oppose it (48% had no opinion). Among all Americans, 41% believed Congress should support it and 38% believed it shouldn’t. This means that Jews support the deal in greater measure than Americans as a whole. Considering that wealthy pro-Israel Jews like Sheldon Adelson and groups like Aipac will be financing much of the Israel Lobby opposition to the deal, it’s shocking there’s such a disconnect between the élite and the rank and file.
H/t to John-Lewis Dickerson.
Dieter Heymann says
Here is a hypothetical outcome of Congress’ consideration of the Vienna-agreement. The Senate votes no. The House votes no. President Obama returns the pertinent document to Congress but unsigned (a.k.a. “veto”). The Senate does not override. The House overrides.
President Obama goes on TV and states: “Because the Senate has ratified the Vienna-agreement it is on solid constitutional grounds that I can assure the nation that the Vienna-agreement is now US law”.
○ AJC survey: American Jews support for US strike on Iran drops | JTA | 10/29/2013
○ Going against Netanyahu, 84 percent of US Jews favor Iran nuclear deal | CS Monitor – Nov. 2014 |
○ Polling: American Jews Strongly Support the Iran Deal & Obama | J Street – June 2015 |
David Terry says
No surprise here! The overwhelming majority of American Jews a peaceful resolution, just like most
American non-Jews. It is ONLY those few Zionists with a vendetta that support Net&Yahoo!
Have you noticed what Turkey and the US are doing right now to the PKK and ,allegedly,ISIS(lol) in Iraq and Syria,and what the implications of these actions could be for the ME and Israel?
Will you re-post the comment I sent yesterday, and you spammed, if it turns out this “deal” is just another go at setting up a trap for Iran and an effort to blow up the ME?
Mitchell Blood says
American Jews favor Obama. If Obama says that deal is a good one, American Jews will believe him.
If Bush was the President pushing for the deal, American Jews might well oppose it.
Richard Silverstein says
@Mitchell: when American Jews oppose yr views you look to a Svengali to explain it. You insult us by claiming we’re hypnotized rather than having minds of our own. Thanks for insulting all of us. Now we understand what we’re dealing with.
Shoded Yam says
Face reality jackass and get your mind right. American Jews are not gonna be party to starting WW III for Israel, all the catcalling about Obama, anti-semitism, or self-hating Jews notwithstanding. I could list a myriad of reasons for this, but why bother? Because I suspect, that in the end the only real reason is that most of us have more important things to worry about and we’ve run out of shits to give as far as Israel and Israelis are concerned. Sorry.
Shoded Yam says
Sorry, Richard. I meant it as a response to Mitchell of course. Please excuse the error.
Dieter Heymann says
Critics of Israel seldom consider “what is the most horrible political nightmare for a Prime Minister of Israel”? Iran with a nuclear arsenal? No, not even close. It is the monster of the Jewish settlements on the West Bank which successive Israeli governments have either allowed or have stimulated to grow and which none of them can tame any more. The nightmare is the return of many, or most, or even all of these ultra-rightist settlers either voluntarily or forced if a Palestinian state comes into being. These returnees may well flock to a single existing party and take it over or establish one of their own. Then they will win the national elections for at least one and perhaps two generations. They are perfectly capable of completely changing the governance of Israel “as we know it today” into a one-party dictatorship. It is even conceivable that their return will trigger a real shooting civil war. Both outcomes will become a gigantic headache for the uncritical US supporters of Israel. Whom are they going to support? The rightists or the ultra-rightists?
Meanwhile juggling PM Netanyahu will refuse to budge on the issue of a Palestinian state until there has been a regime change in Iran which is only his cover-story. Of course he knows that the Vienna agreement is better than bombing Iran but he cannot allow to admit this lest the Palestinian issue will return to the table where it really should be.
The most alarming aspect is that the Obama administration seems to have fallen for this whiner. The only good answer would have been: “There will be an international Iran pact. Get used to it. Any aggressive acts against Iran by your government will have negative consequences for you. Now, let us seriously return to the establishment of a state of Palestine”.
It is not the responsibility of our nation to prevent Israel from becoming a one-party dictatorship.
○ Huckabee Raises the Iran Deal to the Ovens of Auschwitz
Netanyahu surely recognizes this Christian evangelical effort using the holocaust trade-mark for political gain.
gilead cohen says
The poll could have been that American Jews like to eat beagle with lox the some irrelevance.
The American Jews can take the risk that we Israelis will evaporate after atomic attack.
Richard Silverstein says
@gilead: wait, yr PM is claiming we’re gonna be vaporized as well. That should give us some skin in the game, no?
As for eating “beagel” with cream cheese, when I eat dog I prefer it straight up, no chaser. Dog tastes better without any accompaniment.
1. Israel has not managed to produce the tiniest shred of evidence showing that the Iranians intend to produce a nuclear weapon. This reminds me of Saddam’s “weapons of mass destruction.”
2. Israel, itself, has many nuclear heads with ballistic missiles to carry them – this is supposed to be a “deterrent.” If this “deterrent” does not deter who needs it?
3. Israel has submarines which can launch ballistic missiles which carry nuclear heads. This is justified as a “second strike”.
4. The US will not stand idly by if Israel is attacked but the Israelis do not trust the Americans (so they say).
5. This saga about the Iranian nuclear weapons has been going on for over thirty years: the Israelis do not seem to have had enough of this “loksh” – bon appetite.
6. Meanwhile, the Iranians are becoming a bigger and stronger industrial nation.
Arie Brand says
Seeing those poll results it is no wonder that they, and the attitude of American Jewry in general, make Michael Oren, the aliyah making American Jew who was Israel’s recent ambassador to the US, unhappy. Too many American Jews are babbling about Tikun Olam, so he believes, and are in fact disloyal to Israel. Oren seems to know only two psychological categories to explain the to him grotesque fact that anyone could be critical of this “pearl” of societies (as he recently called it in a Forward interview): anti-semitism and fear of anti-semitism. It is mainly this latter state of mind that, according to him, explains the critical attitude of many American Jews. I have no personal knowledge of the American Jewish community but this rather primitive explanation I find utterly unpersuasive. I read therefore with joy in The Atlantic the critical comments of one of its contributing editors, Leon Wieseltier, on this easy and lazy way of going about things. I cannot resist the temptation to quote some of Wieseltier’s spirited attack on it:
” In Oren’s view one’s interpretation of reality should be shaped by one’s ethnicity … oren ludicrously conflates the defense of Netanyahu with the defense of the Jewish people … American Jews are truants and Michael Oren is their truant officer … Oren might instead consider the possibility that it is not fear of anti-Semitism that impels his brethren in America to distance themselves from Israel and its often controversial policies, but the policies themselves … Why should a Jewish journalist care about anything except the facts of the matter?”
Nothing says double-standards — as Israel whining about Iran having nuclear energy, while Israel has over 400 nuclear weapons.
It’s understandable that the majority of Jews polled were in favour of the deal with Iran, after all, it’s in their best interest to be reasonable and citizens of the world, as opposed to supporting Israel at any cost: that cost being: lying about Iran wanting nuclear bombs, and being complicity in hiding the fact that Israel has nuclear bombs, while it won’t say it has them because Israel’s AID would be cut off because the USA cannot give AID to a country that has weapons of mass destruction.