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Author Topic: Support for Israel wanes among US Jews
aka Mycroft
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posted 06 March 2005 10:22 PM      Profile for aka Mycroft     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I suspect the same thing is happening in Canada. The CJC should take note and reevaluate its assumptions that Israel and Canadian Jews share the same interests.

quote:

Poll: U.S. Jews say Israelis are militant

A Jewish Agency poll shows a decline in Jewish American interest in Israel, but more American Jews plan to visit the country
By Yitzhak Benhorin

A recent poll showed 40 percent of American Jews believe Israelis are "militant and nationalistic."

The poll also showed the Jewish American community's affiliation with Israel is on the decline.

According to a poll conducted by the Jewish Agency , which was published last week in the Jewish-American newspaper Forward, American Jews do not discuss Israeli-related issues as often as they have in the past, they do not participate in as many pro-Israel activities, and, in general, they care less about what is happening with their brothers in Zion.

Although the poll showed 66 percent of American Jews regard Israelis as "peace and democracy-loving heroes," it also showed that close to 40 percent believe Israelis are "militant and nationalistic."

In a similar poll conducted two years ago, almost 33 percent of those who participated said they remain emotionally attached to Israel, but the figure dropped to 25 percent in the recent poll.

As to the question of whether they are proud of Israel, 38 percent of those who participated in the poll said they are "very" proud, 38 percent said they are "often" proud, 29 percent responded they are "sometimes" proud, and five percent said they are "never" proud of Israel.

As opposed to the previous poll, which showed that 74 percent of American Jews follow Israel-related news and more than 50 percent discuss Middle East affairs with their friends, the recent poll showed only 65 percent of American Jews follow Israel-related news, and only 39 percent discuss Middle East affairs.

The percentage of American Jews who donate money to Israeli causes has dropped from 49 to 40, and the percentage of American Jews who participate in pro-Israel activities has dropped from 27 to 22.

However, a majority of those who participated in the poll said they continue to preserve other aspects of their Jewish identity, including participation in local Jewish community activity.

In addition, 15 percent of those who participated in the poll said they plan to visit Israel, as opposed to only 12 percent in the previous poll.




From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 07 March 2005 09:32 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well that's a relief.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
johnpauljones
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posted 07 March 2005 10:29 AM      Profile for johnpauljones     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I would be interested in knowing hte Canandian stats on this subject as well. I would wonder if Canadian attitudes or the same or different. It seems that on average on most issues Canadians have different opinions than Americans.

Also I wonder if the Palestinian communties in the US and Canada have conducted a similar poll and what the results would be.

I would be interested in measuring American Jews versus American Palestinians opinions and then the same in Canada.


From: City of Toronto | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 07 March 2005 10:37 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yeah but, what do you mean. A question put to Palestinians about what? How they feel about Israel? Or how they feel about the state they don't have, or the policies of the Palestinian government that does't exist?

There is not really a comparable movement to Zionism within the Palestinian community, so the comparison would be hard to make.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
johnpauljones
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posted 07 March 2005 10:52 AM      Profile for johnpauljones     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
Yeah but, what do you mean. A question put to Palestinians about what? How they feel about Israel? Or how they feel about the state they don't have, or the policies of the Palestinian government that does't exist?

There is not really a comparable movement to Zionism within the Palestinian community, so the comparison would be hard to make.


Good points but the entire poll or story did not deal just with zionism. It was also dealing with the actions of teh government and the government policies.

For that reason, I was thinking more along the lines of questioning the Palestinian diaspara of suppot of the current government, support of the PA in "cracking down on the militant factions" support of the use of suicide bombings (no matter what the rationale is) support of a 2 state solution.

It would be interesting to see if the views of teh Jewish people in the Diaspara and the Palestinian people in the DIaspara agree with or disagree with the actions of the leadership on the ground.


From: City of Toronto | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 07 March 2005 11:03 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
U.S. leftist Bertell Ollman is so disgusted with Israel that he wrote a letter of resignation from the Jewish people.

Check it out for yourself:

Ollman's letter of resignation


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 07 March 2005 11:08 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There is another major difference. The Palestinian diaspora ... er ... comes from Palestine or at most their parents or grandparents did. Most Jewish people in North America have no DIRECT ties to Israel, unless they have relatives living there.

A Jewish friend of mine in Paris, a now elderly lady who wore the yellow star, furiously insists that she has NO relationship to "that government" and that it has no right to speak in her name.

There are many Jewish people in the Americas, Europe and elsewhere with family ties to Israel, but the connection is above all ideological, which is very different from the case of Palestinians abroad.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 07 March 2005 11:49 AM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think I also read somewhere that the vast majority of Palestinians in the US are Christians - so they would have a rather unique perspective as well.
From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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posted 07 March 2005 12:41 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:
U.S. leftist Bertell Ollman is so disgusted with Israel that he wrote a letter of resignation from the Jewish people.

Check it out for yourself:

Ollman's letter of resignation



I read this awhile ago in Tikkun. With all respect to Mr. Ollman, I think he makes the same mistake of conflating the Jewish people as a whole with the State of Israel that Israel's apologists often make; he is accepting the logic of Horowitz et. al.

Jewish culture, heritage, and identity are worth preserving. What ethnic/cultural group has not had great wrong committed in their name?


From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
VanLuke
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posted 07 March 2005 12:52 PM      Profile for VanLuke     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I think he makes the same mistake of conflating the Jewish people as a whole with the State of Israel that Israel's apologists often make

That's not how I read it. Quite the contrary


From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
aka Mycroft
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posted 07 March 2005 01:40 PM      Profile for aka Mycroft     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
[/quote]Young American Jews are more ambivalent toward Israel, study shows
quote:

"The attachment of American Jews to Israel has weakened measurably in the last two years," according to a study carried out by Prof. Steven Cohen of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a leading researcher of U.S. Jewry.

The study was conducted using identical questionnaires circulated during 2002 and also 2004 among 1,448 Jewish families, and was funded by the Jewish-Zionist Education Department of the Jewish Agency.

Cohen's findings, published late last week, reinforce findings suggesting that there is a drop in support for Israel among U.S. Jews, especially
among youth and university students.



quote:

The findings (see chart) show a 15-20 percent drop between 2002 and 2004 in nearly all the indicators measuring emotional attachment to Israel.

Forty-three percent of those asked agreed with the statement that "Israel feels to me more about my parents' and grand-parents' generation than to
me and my generation."



quote:

A number of researchers of U.S. Jews such as Prof. Shulamit Reinharz of Brandeis University argue that the conflict damaged the image of Israeli
"purity" among American Jews and led many to distance themselves from the Jewish state.

This view is echoed by Jewish university organizations, including Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, and the umbrella organization - Israel on Campus Coalition, who blame the intifada for a reduction in
visits by American Jewish youth to Israel.



quote:

A 2003 study by political consultant Frank Luntz showed that support for Israel among young American Jews was far weaker than among their parents.


From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 07 March 2005 01:44 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It is an easy mistake to make until the last line - it is a badly-written, overlong text. Another USian Marxist of Jewish origin, Joel Kovel, writes far more eloquently about how Zionism relies only on the "chosen people" side of Judaity, rejecting Jewish universalism and internationalism www.joelkovel.org

My friend in Paris is very proud of being Jewish and proud of how her family escaped the French collaborators with the Nazis - by fleeing to fascist Italy of all places with the help of a sympathetic, nominally fascist civil servant. She just doesn't feel any relationship to the Israeli state or its actions.

(edited to change "Vichy" to "French collaborators - my friend V's family lived in Paris, not the Vichy "Republic" in the south)...

[ 07 March 2005: Message edited by: lagatta ]


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
VanLuke
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posted 07 March 2005 01:53 PM      Profile for VanLuke     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
that link displays an essay about 9-11.

Did you mean this piece?
http://www.joelkovel.org/newreadings.html#ttwz


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lagatta
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posted 07 March 2005 01:59 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, I just linked to Kovel's entire site as there is more than one article relating to Zionism on it and they aren't hard to find.
From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
VanLuke
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posted 07 March 2005 02:00 PM      Profile for VanLuke     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
only asked because there several of them (as you well know)
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Cueball
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posted 07 March 2005 04:18 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think the whole idea of renouncing ones Jewishness because of Israel is unecessarily dramatic and demagogic.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 07 March 2005 04:41 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In other regards Ollman is a careful and interesting thinker. Courageous, even. He is the most interesting thinker I have ever read on the subject of how people come to be radicalized .

So is this an "emotional' reaction to the situation he finds himself in? What is it really like to be a Jewish American and a principled critic of the continuing occupation and accompanying atrocities? Does he feel like he is in the "crosshairs of hate"? Anyone?


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Vigilante
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posted 08 March 2005 12:14 PM      Profile for Vigilante        Edit/Delete Post
This is good. One of the things that will finish off this apartheid state is the PR war. A war that the Palestinians have been winning since 1987.
From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
aka Mycroft
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posted 08 March 2005 02:00 PM      Profile for aka Mycroft     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm curious what the response of the official "leadership" of the Jewish community will be? Will the CJC, B'nai Brith et al recognise that North American Jews are setting aside Zionism and stop assuming that Zionist interests and Jewish interests are one and the same (and perhaps drop the "anti Zionism is anti-Semitism rhetoric") or will they decide that this is a "crisis" and that what is needed is "education" to try to inculcate younger Jews with Zionist fervor (witness "Birthright" and other programs).
From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 08 March 2005 02:26 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Mycroft, I think that depends on to what extent Jewish people with a different outlook are prepared to organise and challenge the leadership. The CJC has many member groups - you may even belong to one or more of them? For example, I'm a member of the Jewish Public Library ... but then, I'm not Jewish.

I think the first step would be demanding that community publications etc be open to other points of view - and not just as the odd letter to the editor. (What I'm saying here echoes comments from friends here who belong to PAJU).

As for "Birthright", personally, these days, I wouldn't really mind an all-expenses-paid trip to somewhere warm.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
aka Mycroft
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posted 08 March 2005 07:38 PM      Profile for aka Mycroft     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Such a group is in the works.
From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
B.L. Zeebub LLD
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posted 08 March 2005 11:59 PM      Profile for B.L. Zeebub LLD     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Coyote:
Jewish culture, heritage, and identity are worth preserving. What ethnic/cultural group has not had great wrong committed in their name?

I would argue that, on the contrary, what is needed is a good stiff dose of good ol' fashioned non-ethnic universalism, and not just for Jews.


From: A Devil of an Advocate | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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posted 09 March 2005 12:01 AM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't think that national identity and ethical humanism are mutually exclusive.
From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Zaklamont
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posted 12 March 2005 04:46 PM      Profile for Zaklamont        Edit/Delete Post
And now the REAL results of the poll, from the Jewish Agency's website. Yes there is a decline but not how described by the originator of this thread. Also, the fact that there's a decline in
interest is not a declaration of the nature of Israel to the Jewish people. Because fewer Catholics identify with the Pope does not mean that the papacy is no longer an integral, vital part of the Catholic religion.

We Jews do not appreciate the ancient European Christian tradition of defining our religion for us , rather than Christians taking the pains of finding out what WE say about it. And what we have said for centuries and what we still say is that we are the descendants of the ancient Israelites; that we did not turn over and die (as the Churches would have us) when Christianity was born, and finally that Israel is central to the Jewish religion (yes , we are a Semitic tribal based religion - where religion and community identity are intertwined).

Now to items in the poll:
(http://www.jafi.org.il/papers/2005/march/march08jp.htm )

eg. "just 57 percent said that 'caring about Israel is an important part of my being Jewish,' compared to 73 percent in 1989. "

"Large majorities continued to find Israel, to "some" or "a great" extent, a "vital and dynamic place" that ties them to Jewish history and the Jewish people and is a "place of Jewish inspiration."


From: Ottawa Ontario | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 13 March 2005 01:31 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
We Jews do not appreciate the ancient European Christian tradition of defining our religion for us , rather than Christians taking the pains of finding out what WE say about it.

Right, which is why you wholeheartedly lept into their arms when they offered to solve Europes "Jewish problem" by accepting their generous offer of Arab land for emmigration. Some of us Jews do not appreciate the Zinoist sell out to Christian racism, nor your continued attempts to hijack the Jewish heritage or your claim that you speak for all jews, all the time.

The poll should at least tell you that your hectoring pedantry is wearing thin and that many Jews have grown tired of the snake-oil pitch.

[ 13 March 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged

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