No surprises in Anti-Defamation League poll of American Jewish Opinion on Gaza Crisis

January 30, 2009

This brief poll from the Anti-Defamation League contains no surprises. Of course, the vast majority of American Jews sympathize with Israel – so do I. Who would question whether the vast majority of the American Jewish community supports or sympathizes with Israel over Hamas? Of course they do.

The question we asked about Gaza and that we ask about all US and Israeli policy is whether it promotes Israel’s safety, security and survival in the long run:

  • Is Israel safer today – and in the long run – as a result of the Gaza operation?
  • Did the operation enhance the prospects of achieving lasting peace and security through a two-state solution to the conflict?

If the answer is no, we question whether the actions taken were productive.

This poll reflects the kind of zero-sum, us versus them thinking that continues to drive the conflict ever deeper down a cycle of violence.  Our point was and continues to be that we’ll only end the conflict – not in a military victory – but by breaking free of thinking that focuses on placing blame and starting to address the real issues that must be dealt with to achieve a comprehensive and sustainable solution to the conflict.

It is clear, even from this poll, that the vast majority of American Jews support the steps necessary to achieve such a peaceful solution:

  • 63% support the creation of an independent Palestinian state
  • Two-thirds supported Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza