US Jews oppose dividing Jerusalem, are losing faith in Obama

Thursday, July 14, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

A bipartisan survey of American Jewish voters by McLaughlin & Associates found that an overwhelming majority oppose dividing Jerusalem as part of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

Nearly three-fourths (73%) of respondents believe Jerusalem must remain fully under Israeli control, even though the Palestinians have made it a "red line" demand that they receive control over the holy city's eastern half.

The poll results were somewhat surprising in this regard, as a majority of the American Jewish community is in favor of the "two-state solution" and the creation of a Palestinian Arab state as an end to the Middle East conflict.

But American Jewish views may be shifting as the community increasingly sees Israel as facing an existential threat that will eventually reach them as well.

Firm majorities said that both Iran and the Palestinians will continue their efforts to eliminate Israel regardless of whatever concessions they are offered.

Very few American Jews still believe a lasting and genuine peace is achievable via diplomatic means.

So, where does that leave American Jewish opinion regarding President Barack Obama?

Nearly half of those polled (43%) said they are no longer sure who Obama favors in the Israeli-Arab conflict, and less than half (46%) still think the president's policies are not putting Israel in danger. That leaves more than half of Jewish voters who are either unsure or certain that Obama's policies endanger the future of the Jewish state.

In fact, a sizeable portion of Jewish voters believes Obama is capable of outright lying when it comes to his relationship with Israel.

Obama and other members of his administration have made it clear that they will veto a resolution on unilateral Palestinian statehood expected to be presented at the UN this September. But 40 percent of Jewish voters don't trust the president to actually order the US ambassador to exercise that veto.

Sixty-seven percent are also concerned about Israel's future should Obama be re-elected, considering that he has called for a return to the pre-1967 borders and has opposed Israeli sovereignty over a united Jerusalem.

Most American Jews are Democrats. And most (65%) of those polled voted for Obama in 2008. A 64 percent majority said they still have a favorable opinion of the president overall, but only 43 percent said they would vote for him again.

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