Jewish Organizations Need To Support Israeli Government Policies According To B’nai B’rith Survey Of Israeli Attitudes Toward World Jewry
A majority of Jewish residents of Israel (54 percent) believe that Jewish organizations that advocate for Israel with foreign governments and call themselves “pro-Israel” should always support the government’s policies, while 28 percent do not, according to the fifth annual Survey of Contemporary Israeli Attitudes Toward World Jewry. The survey, conducted by KEEVOON Research, on behalf of the B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem, reported statistics on current issues such as Israeli feelings toward Jews in the Diaspora.
The survey also found that 56 percent of adult Israeli Jews disagree with the “Call for Reason” petition issued by JCall, a European-based nonprofit advocacy group on the Middle East and Israel, stating that unequivocal support of Israeli government policies by the Jewish Diaspora is not in the best interests of the country, while 30 percent agree with it.
“The results of the survey were significant and demonstrated interesting insights into Israeli attitudes,” World Center Director Alan Schneider said. “Whereas Israelis were divided on particular policy issues, especially those being put forth by Diaspora Jewish organizations, they believe that those organizations who lobby on behalf of what they believe to be best for Israel should support the elected government. They also believe that unwavering support of Israel is not detrimental to Israel’s long term goals.”
Nearly half (47 percent) of Israelis disagree with Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky’s plans to eliminate Aliya as the main focus of the organization. Only 35 percent support his plan to shift the priority to building the Jewish identity of every Jew in his or her country.
While 55 percent of those polled believe that a two-state solution is essential to Israel’s survival as the Jewish homeland and a thriving democracy, that group is almost evenly divided between those who agree strongly or only somewhat. Only 36 percent of Israelis disagreed.
Israelis questioned felt strongly that American Jews should criticize President Obama’s policies toward Israel. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of them held this position, while only 12 percent felt American Jews should support their president’s Israeli policies.
Other questions in the survey focused on the law of return and conversion, anti-Semitism, and the pursuit of settlements in the West Bank and Arab districts of East Jerusalem.
“The World Center takes this survey on contemporary Israeli opinion on the Diaspora seriously and believes its results are extremely valuable,” World Center Chairman Haim V. Katz said.
The telephone survey was conducted June 1-4 and included representatives from the Jewish Israeli population over the age of 18. Five-hundred people were interviewed and there is a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.
The B’nai B’rith World Center is the permanent and official presence of B’nai B’rith International in Jerusalem and serves as its public affairs arm in Israel. To see a PowerPoint presentation on the full survey, please visit: http://www.bnaibrith.org/press_releases/annual_survey.cfm. For additional survey information, contact Alan Schneider at: 02-6251743 or 052-5536441; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.