September 17, 2019

For American Jews, Israel Isn't a Priority

“The good news for U.S. President Donald Trump coming out of a new poll of Jewish voters is that he shouldn’t take their indifference about his pro-Israel policies too personally.

The survey published this week that was conducted by Greenberg Research for the Jewish Electoral Institute tells us a lot of things that we already knew: the vast majority of Jewish voters identify as Democrats and are disproportionately liberal compared to other Americans. They also really, really don’t like Trump, with 71% disapproving of his presidency and only 29% approving of his performance in office.

That may strike Trump and other Republicans as astonishing considering that by any objective standard, Trump has been the most pro-Israel president America has ever had, as his policy shifts on Jerusalem, the U.S. embassy, the Golan Heights, Iran and accountability for the Palestinians have demonstrated.

But if there is one number that you can learn from a deep dive into the survey’s findings, it’s that only 28% of the Jews polled say that support for Israel is one of the most important issues that determine how they vote. That puts it on the bottom of a list of issues presented to them, ranking far below concerns about protecting Medicare and Social Security (the No. 1 issue), health care, gun control, abortion, the Supreme Court, education, taxes and immigration, among others. As the executive summary of the poll summed it up, “Israel is the lowest policy priority for Jewish voters.””

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