Pew’s News About American Jews Or 42% of American Jews Agree With Congresswoman Omar About Israel

Pew is out with new survey data regarding American attitudes towards Israel and the President’s positions and actions towards Israel.

While U.S. Jews have a strong attachment to Israel, they are divided in their assessment of Trump’s handling of the Israeli-Palestinian issue, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Roughly four-in-ten (42%) say they think Trump is favoring the Israelis too much, while a similar share (47%) say he is striking the right balance between the Israelis and Palestinians. The rest either say he is favoring the Palestinians too much (6%) or they don’t know (4%).

As I’ve written about here many times, American Jews are far less supportive of the President’s actions towards Israel than American Christians, especially white Evangelical Christians (Evangelicals, Charismatics, and Fundamentalists).

By comparison, Christians in the United States are more likely to say Trump is striking the right balance between the Israelis and Palestinians (59%) than to say Trump favors the Israelis too much (26%). Among evangelical Protestants, 72% say they think Trump strikes the right balance between the Israelis and Palestinians, and just 15% say Trump favors the Israelis too much.

The difference between evangelicals and Jews on this question partly reflects partisan divisions. Most evangelical Protestants describe themselves as Republican or say they lean toward the Republican Party, while most Jews identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party. Overall, Republicans mostly think Trump has struck the right balance between the Israelis and Palestinians, while 53% of Democrats think Trump favors the Israelis too much.

The none affiliated and those with no religion are closer in their views with American Jews than American Christians.

Partisanship also may be a factor when it comes to the views of religiously unaffiliated Americans (sometimes referred to as “nones”), who, like Jews, largely lean Democratic. Nearly half (47%) of the unaffiliated – those who describe themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” when asked about their religion –  say they think Trump favors the Israelis too much.

Finally, and as one would expect, there are significant partisan and intra-religious divides in attitudes towards the President’s positions and actions regarding Israel.

The survey also shows that roughly eight-in-ten evangelical Protestants (79%) have a favorable view of the Israeli people, as do seven-in-ten mainline Protestants and about two-thirds of Catholics. People in all three groups are far more likely to say they have a favorable view of the Israeli people than they are to say the same of the Palestinian people.

By contrast, religiously unaffiliated people and those in the historically black Protestant tradition are more ambivalent toward Israelis. Those in both of these groups feel about as warmly toward the Palestinian people as they do toward the Israeli people. (The survey did not include enough interviews with Jews to analyze their views on these questions, because the questions were only asked of half the sample.)

I’ll close by once again belaboring the point that being opposed to Israel, its current government and governing coalition, and/or specific Israeli actions IS NOT THE SAME thing as being anti-Semitic! And that making claims of anti-Semitism by white Christian elected and appointed Republican officials, as well as elite and noted conservatives, for political purposes that equate Israel with Judaism are bullshit. The current Republican and conservative racism in defense of Judaism equated with Israel and Jewishness equated with Israeli is actually anti-Semitism. It defines American Jews as less American and more Israelis in waiting. It is a classic example of othering American Jews, of defining them outside of their nationality as Americans by equating Judaism, which is a religion, with Israel, which is a nation-state. It makes American Jews a fifth column that is not fully American because their allegiance is somehow to Israel. You can’t get more anti-Semitic than that.

Open thread!






49 replies
  1. 1
    trollhattan says:

    Headline needs 10% more “skews.”

    Interesting result. Am not amazed American Jews aren’t knee-jerk about Israel like the fundys are.

  2. 2
    David Wetzel says:

    I hate to rock Pew’s world but Catholics are Christians too…

  3. 3

    Congress woman or person or Representative Omar. She is not a man.

  4. 4
    Brachiator says:

    U.S. Jews are more likely than Christians to say Trump favors the Israelis too much

    Tell it. According to Trump, Israel is the 51st state and Puerto Rico is a foreign country.

  5. 5
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Sorry, typo. Will fix right now.

  6. 6

    Did you guys see that Orange T has decided to “help” with Kashmir. India’s MEA says “no thanks”.

    ETA: Imran Khan and Orange T must have bonded over having three wives. Although IK does have some genuine achievements (in cricket) to his credit unlike the current resident of the WH. And he was quite good looking when he was a young man.

  7. 7
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @David Wetzel: They’re always separated out from Protestants in surveys and polling. Same with mainline Protestants versus evangelicals and white Protestants and African American Protestants in general and white evangelicals and African American evangelicals in specific.

  8. 8
    Cameron says:

    Thanks, Dr.Silverman. I grew up in Saudi Arabia,and my next door neighbors were Arab. He was Egyptian,she was Palestinian. I wasn’t told until I was an adult that the Irgun torched her family’s olive orchard and drove them out. She never said anything nasty about Jews. Of course,they were Chhristians. Not like Merkin “Christians.”

  9. 9

    @David Wetzel: This would be an interesting poll question all by itself………..

  10. 10
    Mike in NC says:

    Was in the supermarket yesterday and saw that SOB Netanyahu on the cover of TIME magazine.

  11. 11

    The current Republican and conservative racism in defense of Judaism equated with Israel and Jewishness equated with Israeli is actually anti-Semitism. It defines American Jews as less American and more Israelis in waiting. It is a classic example of othering American Jews, of defining them outside of their nationality as Americans by equating Judaism, which is a religion, with Israel, which is a nation-state. It makes American Jews a fifth column that is not fully American because their allegiance is somehow to Israel. You can’t get more anti-Semitic than that.

    So much this. I will go a bit further and say it’s exactly the same kind of antisemitism that the Nazis practiced. My grandfather’s family was thoroughly assimilated, except that they didn’t go to synagogue on Saturdays instead of not going to church on Sundays. That apparently wasn’t good enough. You don’t get to complain about people being rootless and lacking patriotism when you uproot them and force them to flee to another country.

  12. 12

    @Mike in NC: Someone with fake Time covers is jealous!

  13. 13
    SRW1 says:

    D’oh! Do Jew people have as much at stake when the Rapture arrives as Evangelical Christians?

  14. 14
    Citizen Alan says:

    @SRW1:

    As I recall from growing up Southern Baptist, exactly 144,000 will be Saved. And then Jesus will personally execute all the rest upon his return.

  15. 15
    MattF says:

    I think it’s important to keep Israel’s political history in mind here. Once upon a time, Israel had a socialist government. From there, the steady movement towards a toxic combination of fundamentalism and militarism happened relatively gradually– gradually enough that American Jews who supported Israel’s politics and policies in the 1960’s had the time to become disillusioned and give it up, thirty or forty years later.

  16. 16
    Mike in NC says:

    Trump is running a double grift: pandering to the religious right and collecting a paycheck from Zionist billionaires like Sheldon Adelson. Ka-ching!

  17. 17

    @Citizen Alan:

    As I recall from growing up Southern Baptist, exactly 144,000 will be Saved.

    I really want to ask one of those sola scriptura Baptists to show me where in the Bible that 144,000 number comes from. Does that make me a trouble maker?

  18. 18
    MattF says:

    @Roger Moore: It’s 12x12x1000. What’s so hard about that?

  19. 19
    patrick II says:

    @Adam
    @Roger Moore:

    It defines American Jews as less American and more Israelis in waiting. It is a classic example of othering American Jews,…

    When Trump says he can’t understand why Jews vote for Democrats, it is the perfect demonstration of this principle — and he means it from the bottom of his alleged heart.

  20. 20
    Amir Khalid says:

    @MattF:
    Is there some Biblical rationale, real or imaginary, for this numerology?

  21. 21
  22. 22
    jl says:

    Trump doesn’t favor Israel too much, he favors his reactionary authoritarian buddies in Likud too much. Other than that detail, thanks for an interesting and important post.

  23. 23
    jl says:

    @Roger Moore: ” Does that make me a trouble maker?”

    Yes it does. And trouble makers go to hell. And even more important, Trump Himself has said that he ‘doesn’t like the critics’.

  24. 24
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Pew’s News About American Jews

    What is this, Variety

    ETA: That line is going through my head now to the tune of “Bye bye, Miss American Pie.”

  25. 25
    Mart says:

    Thanks Adam. Drives me crazy that even the fake news panels on CNN and MSNBC never make this simple statement, that concern over Israeli policies can have nothing to do with anti-Semitism. But they always say “Omar has made anti-Semitic statements in the past for which she has apologized” – and never provide the context that her statements are directed at policy.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Isn’t it from Revelation? Am in the middle of something now but shall look it up later.

  28. 28
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Yup, Revelation 7:4-8

    4
    Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
    5
    From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben 12,000, from the tribe of Gad 12,000,
    6
    from the tribe of Asher 12,000, from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000, from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000,
    7
    from the tribe of Simeon 12,000, from the tribe of Levi 12,000, from the tribe of Issachar 12,000,
    8
    from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000, from the tribe of Joseph 12,000, from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.

  29. 29
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: ha!

  30. 30
    Another Scott says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: t.o Feedback:

    If you have really read Revelations, you would know that the Second Coming wouldn’t really be a good day for anybody… except the 144,000 Jewish male virgins who receive the mark of the Lord.

    (Emphasis added.)

    Whoooooppps…

    Hehe.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  31. 31
    debbie says:

    Okay, Pew posted this yesterday. Has Bibi’s head exploded yet?

  32. 32
    MattF says:

    @Another Scott: Lends some perspective to the effort I made to lose my virginity, back in the day.

  33. 33
    debbie says:

    @Roger Moore:

    There was a brouhaha in the 1980s about this. The rabbis suddenly announced American Jews weren’t true Jews. Israel was shocked at the blowback on this.

  34. 34
    Holaitsmonica says:

    Since we have an open thread…

    Y’all have any suggestions for kid friendly “Would you rather” questions I’ll use for group warm ups? I’m a youth grief support counselor for a non profit hospice and I’ve run out of ideas!

  35. 35
    chris says:

    The 144,000 are all men of course. That was the the final straw for a friend who grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness. We taught her to swear.

  36. 36
    debbie says:

    @chris:

    Of course Jewish men decided that only Jewish men were eligible for rapture. //

  37. 37
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Another Scott:

    If you have really read Revelations

    It’s Revelation, not Revelations. My prickles always go off when someone starts opining like this but can’t even spell the cite correctly.

    That looks like a Looney-Toons board. And from 20+ years ago! Where in the world do you find these things?

    Lightly edited.

  38. 38
    Another Scott says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: talk.origins was a USENET news group I read occasionally, back in the day. Lots of discussions about evolution, etc., etc., so Genesis came up a lot. As did Revelations.

    Google popped that up in a quick search.

    HTH! :-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  39. 39
    gratuitous says:

    Isn’t it weird how bollixed up this whole US/Israel thing gets as soon as we start distinguishing between the political leadership of Israel and the nation of Israel? It’s almost as if there’s an organized effort to confuse the government with the country.

  40. 40
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Holaitsmonica: We had one of those kid books of “Would you rather?” questions — just gave it away during one of my periodic purges. I bet the public library or Amazon has it or another just like it.

  41. 41
    Holaitsmonica says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    Thanks!

  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SRW1: In actual empirical reality terms? No. 1) The Rapture was created as a concept in upstate New York (referred to as the Burned Over District because so much Hellfire and Brimstone was preached there) in the 1830s by William Miller, whose teachings, after the Rapture failed to happen on the two dates he prophesied it would, form the foundation of Seventh Day Adventism. 2) There is no equivalent concept in Judaism at all. Judaism has, at best, a vestigial concept of Heaven/eternal reward and Hell/eternal punishment. And that is basically the result of influences from Zoroastrianism during the Babylonian exile and later Christianity.

  43. 43
    David Wetzel says:

    @Adam L Silverman: except the indentations and dotted line at least implies that Catholics are not included in Christians. the way its displayed (and it might be the chart is drawn wrong) Christians have one sub category: Protestant… Protestant has three sub categories… then (dotted line) the Christian category is done and we list Catholics, Jewish, and Unaffiliated.

  44. 44
    jonas says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The particular theology of the Rapture that many evangelical Christians subscribe to today actually post-dates the so-called Second Great Awakening and can be traced to the influence of the Scofield Bible Commentary published in 1909, which taught that a select group of born-again Christians would be “raptured” *prior* to the tribulations of the Final Judgment. This is part of a wider doctrine of scriptural exegesis called “Dispensationalism” and is the basis of the whole “Left Behind” series where the Christians are all taken up to heaven, leaving a bunch of astonished non-believers behind who then have a limited amount of time to acknowledge that Christianity is true before Christ returns and sends the remaining unbelievers to hell. It is also the basis for modern evangelicism’s intense interest in the state of Israel, which Dispensationalism teaches is a key fulfillment of prophecy that must precede the Rapture. Scofield’s edition of the KJV of the Bible and accompanying commentary were quickly adopted by a number of fundamentalist churches and seminaries (and later evangelicals) which is why this doctrine is so widespread today. Mainline Protestants and Catholics do not read New Testament references to the so-called Rapture in this way.

  45. 45

    Thanks, Adam, now I have “Pew’s News About American Jews” running through my head like a gangster taking charge of the bar.

  46. 46

    @jonas:

    Scofield’s edition of the KJV of the Bible and accompanying commentary were quickly adopted by a number of fundamentalist churches and seminaries (and later evangelicals)

    …makes me wonder why that occurred – was it more fun to believe that I’m going and you’re not because I’m holier than thou?

  47. 47
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @David Wetzel: I can’t speak to why Pew does their charts this way. I can state, as the first PhD student to be supervised by the father of the study of religion and politics, that they are always broken out in the polling and surveying as I described. Beyond that, how and why Pew does their graphics is something beyond my ken.

  48. 48
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jonas: I’m aware, I wrote my masters thesis in comparative religion on this and related apocalyptic and millennial concepts and their effects on religiously motivated political violence. But the concept first emerges in the Burned Over District in the 1830s and that’s where its origin should be identified.

  49. 49
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @BruceFromOhio: Happy to be of service!

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