One-third of American-Jewish people view Israel's war on Gaza as genocide

One-third of American-Jewish people view Israel's war on Gaza as genocide
Nearly one-third of US Jews believe that Israel is committing genocide” in the Gaza Strip according to a poll by  Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
3 min read
04 June, 2024
A 2020 survey of Jewish Americans found that US Jews felt different levels of connection with Israel depending on their age [Getty]

Almost one in three Jewish Americans believe that Israel's military offensive in Gaza constitutes genocide while 60 percent also support the establishment of a Palestinian state, according to a new poll conducted by the private right-wing think tank Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

The survey was conducted between 9 May and 11 May and included 511 Jewish American respondents.

"Approximately one-third of respondents agreed with the accusation that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, while about half disagreed," the survey found. Around 17 percent of respondents "strongly agree" and 12.5 percent "agree" with the accusation, while 24.8 percent "disagree", 26.6 percent "strongly disagree", and 18.5 percent "neither agree nor disagree".

The survey also found that just over half of respondents would support a US decision to halt arms shipments to Israel, while 22.2 percent were against the move and one-in-four neither supported not opposed it.

It came as US President Joe Biden threatened earlier in May to stop supplying some weapons to Israel if it launched a ground operation in the Gaza city of Rafah, which has since taken place.

Regarding campus protests in the US, the survey found that 34.4 percent of US Jews viewed the rallies as anti-war and pro-peace, while 28.3 percent found them to be "purely" anti-Israel.

Thousands of students at more than 130 leading colleges and universities across the US have protested against the ongoing war in Gaza with demonstrations and encampments.

When asked about their support for Israel after those protests, 33 percent of respondents said their support increased, 43 percent said it remained the same, and 23.4 percent said it decreased.

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On a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, 60 percent of respondents believed that a two-state solution was "the best way to peace, with varying conditions related to demilitarisation and recognition of Israel as a Jewish state".

Peace negotiations have been stalled since 2014, primarily because of Israel's continued settlement activities in the occupied West Bank and its refusal to establish a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The poll found that 11.5 percent supported an unconditional independent Palestinian state, while 24 percent backed it with the condition that it recognises Israel as a "Jewish state".

Additionally, 16.8 percent supported a confederation between Israel and a Palestinian state with security arrangements, 4.8 percent supported the idea of Palestinian "tribal" emirates, and 3.1 percent supported integrating Palestinians as citizens of Israel.

Only 5.8 percent opposed the establishment of a Palestinian state altogether, and 8.8 percent had no opinion.

In April, before Israel's ground operations on Rafah, a separate study by Pew Research Centre found that not all Jewish Americans viewed the war on Gaza the same way with starkly different outlooks between younger and older respondents.

Jewish adults under-35 were divided over Israel's war on Gaza following the Hamas-led attack on 7 October, with 52 percent saying that the way Israel has carried out the war has been "acceptable", while 42 percent called it "unacceptable", and 6 percent were "unsure", according to the study.

Sixty-eight percent of US Jews aged 50 and older found that Israel’s conduct of the war was "acceptable".

It revealed that younger adults expressed much more negative attitudes toward Israel than older respondents, reflecting a 2020 survey which found that Jewish-Americans felt different levels of connection with Israel depending on their age.

The study also found there were 5.8 million adult Jewish people in the United States, and 1.8 million children of at least one Jewish parent, for a total of 7.5 million Jews, forming 2.5 percent of the national population.