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Survey: A Quarter of U.S. Jews Agree That Israel "Is an Apartheid State"

Allan C. Brownfeld, Editor
Special Interest Report
August 2021

A survey of American Jewish voters taken after the Israel-Gaza conflict  
finds that a sizable minority believe some of the harshest criticisms of  
Israel, including that it is committing genocide and apartheid.  
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (July 13, 2021) reports: “Among respondents  
to the survey commissioned by the Jewish Electorate Institute, a group led  
by prominent Jewish Democrats, 34 percent agreed that ‘Israel’s treatment of  
Palestinians is similar to racism in the United States’. 25 percent agreed  
that ‘Israel is an apartheid state” and 22 percent agreed that ‘Israel is  
committing genocide against the Palestinians.’”  
Among younger voters included in the survey, agreement with those statements  
was higher. The poll found that 9 per cent of voters agreed with the  
statement, “Israel doesn’t have a right to exist.” But among voters under  
40, that proportion was 20 percent. A third of younger voters agreed that  
Israel is committing genocide, “a position that even human rights lawyers  
who are critical of Israel say is extreme.” More than a third agreed that  
Israel is an apartheid state.  
According to JTA, “The findings are striking as mainstream pro-Israel  
organizations struggle to make the case that Israel is central to Jewish  
identity and that criticism of it often veers into anti-Semitism. They  
suggest that many American Jews agree with statements by some of Israel’s  
harshest critics…Asked if they felt emotionally attached to Israel, 62  
percent of respondents said they did and 38 per cent said they did not.”  
Asked about the two-state solution, 61 percent said it was their preferred  
outcome. But 19 per cent said they preferred annexation of the West Bank  
that would deny Palestinians the right to vote in national elections, while  
20 per cent said they preferred “establishing one state that is neither  
Jewish nor Palestinian” and encompassing Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. A  
substantial majority of respondents, 71 per cent, said it was “important” to  
provide financial assistance to Israel, a smaller majority, 58 percent, said  
it would be appropriate to restrict aid to Israel so it could not use U.S.  
money on settlements. A majority, 62 percent, support President Biden’s  
reversal of Donald Trump’s policy of cutting aid to the Palestinians. **

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