What Jews think

Print More

The Jewish Week‘s James Besser draws a good bead on the latest Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion by the American Jewish Committee. All I’d add is that it’s hard to conclude that it means very much when 55 percent approve of the Obama administration’s handling of U.S.-Israel relations and 57 percent approve of the Netanyahu government’s handling of Israel-U.S. relations. And when 25 percent think that anti-Semitism is a “very serious problem” in the United States and 66 percent think it is a “somewhat of a problem.”

  • EJB

    I think it’s newsworthy that 91% of American Jews feel that anti-semitism is a problem in America today. I find fascinating that their world view of anti-semitism is even more negative as well as their perception that things will only get worse in the future. It would be interesting to know how these opinions have tracked over time. It would also be interesting to see more analysis about the degree American Jews feel threatened or persecuted and what their perceptions are about what the sources of anti-semitism in America are. I also wonder how American Jews perceive they are regarded by various American Christian sects, and how that would compare to a poll of American Christians from different sects and how they feel about Jews. My suspicion is that there’s a size-able gap there.

  • There are few American Jews who under any conditions would answer “no” when asked if they weren’t worried about anti-Semitism. History has conditioned us otherwise.
    However, the followup questions should be “Have you ever been a victim of (serious) anti-Semitism? Have you been such a victim in the past five years? Do you know anyone who has been?”
    Those results would decidedly be much lower.
    When it comes to polling “Christans,” that’s just such a huge and broad field/topic. Evangelicals and Catholics would score differently (although there would be real diversity in there as well).
    Finally, when it comes to Obama and American Jews, despite the very loud dissent (and I hear/read it every day as an editor of a Jewish newspaper), it is highly likely that Jews will again in overwhelming numbers vote Democrat in the upcoming congressional elections. That is in large part because they like their own official (like everyone else) while not liking the institution of congress.
    And when it comes to the next presidential election, by then the Iran question is highly likely to be far different than today, which will be important. Also, the Republicans tend to have a history of imploding when it comes to Jewish outreach — read James Baker, Sara Palin, etc.

  • Mark Silk

    I agree with all that, Neil. One thing I’d add: If there had been a fourth option–Anti-Semitism is not much of a problem–that would have gained a plurality. “Somewhat of a problem” was just the default answer.