Will Jews raise their voices finally?

The recent J Street survey on American Jews shows a fairly conservative but not neo-conservative worldview. Two-states. More US pressure on both sides. Blah blah blah. Talk is cheap.

But Realistic Dove blog has more:

But the new J Street survey shows something new, something different, something that has gotten no attention: there is a solid bloc of Jews in the U.S. who would support their government if it pressured only Israel.

When revealing this little nugget in their analysis, the pollsters, Gerstein Agne, look at the glass as half-full for supporters of Israel:

“We introduced an additional component to this exercise in this latest survey, and provided half the sample with the language cited above [about U.S. engagement] and provided the other half of the sample with language that focused exclusively on publicly disagreeing with or pressuring just Israel instead of both Israelis and Arabs. [emphasis added by DF].

“Not surprisingly, support for America playing an active role drops off considerably if it means disagreeing only with Israel (support drops 88 to 58 percent) or pressuring only Israel (support drops from 88 to 57 percent). These findings underscore how strongly Jews want the U.S. to assert itself to achieve peace, but also how much more effective it is when America is even-handed and addresses both sides instead of just one side.”

True, but the findings also show that large numbers of American Jews, perhaps even a majority, have moved beyond favoring evenhandedness or honest brokerage. These people are simply in no mood to put up with an Israeli government that takes more steps that will preclude the possibility of a 2-state solution, although the pollsters don’t spell out specific examples of Israeli recalcitrance or military adventurism when testing that proposition.

It doesn’t matter if this represents the sentiments of a majority of Jews in the U.S. It obviously reflects the views of a good many of them. While no doubt some of them have always felt this way, it is likely that these numbers offer more evidence of radicalization and growing alienation from Israel, especially among younger Jewish voters. Will Congress and the Obama team hear from them, and from the larger group that is comfortable with pressure on both sides if and when it is necessary? That remains to be seen.

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