Are US Jews No Longer Zionists? New Survey Points at a Surprise

Published July 14th, 2021 - 06:15 GMT
Jewish protester for Palestine
Escalations in East Jerusalem and Gaza last May witnessed changing global attitudes towards Israel. (Twitter: @AfroPal_Forum)

Whether is it a result of an increasingly connected world via the internet, an outcome of political changes in the region, or a consequence of the April report by Human Rights Watch concerning Israeli policies, more American Jews than ever think that Israel is an 'Apartheid' state, according to a recent survey.

Last April, Human Rights Watch released a lengthy study that has been in the making for several years, in which the organization documented how Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza amount to practices of an Apartheid regime, similar to the one the world saw and associated with South Africa for decades throughout the 20th century.

A few days later, tensions between Palestinians and Israel peaked in a number of cities, particularly East Jerusalem and Gaza, triggering a worldwide solidarity movement with the Palestinians, some of whom were facing forced evictions in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood while millions of others were living under the threat of Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza strip. This global trend of protests for Palestine featured an increasing number of Jews, mostly Americans, who expressed their dissatisfaction with Israeli practices against Palestinians and the fact that it has for long been linked to their Jewish identity.

As a result, a recent survey conducted by the Jewish Electorate Institute showed that 25% of Jewish Americans believe that Israel is an Apartheid state, while 34% agreed that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is not that different from racism in the United States.

According to survey findings, about 9% of Jewish Americans participating in the poll "didn't think that Israel has the right to exist." This belief was even more popular amongst younger Jews, as 20% of them shared this statement.

As soon as these results were shared by the Jewish Electorate Institute, social media commentators expressed their shock over the changing attitudes of American Jews towards Israel, especially that the vast majority of Jewish organizations in the United States have been quite active in promoting a positive image of Israel and Zionism, rallying support for Israeli policies in the Middle East, let alone collecting millions of dollars in donations to the Jewish state.

Last Sunday, about 2000 American Jews organized a demonstration in Washington, DC, in which they condemned what they described as "a rising sentiment against Jews" and equated anti-Zionism with antisemitism. According to the Times of Israel, left-Jewish groups did not take part in the "No Fear" rally on the 11th of July.

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