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2019 Annual Assessment

This question mainly appeared in the AJC surveys, with virtually no counterpart questions for populations outside the US. But it is important for completing the picture, as it provides a means of assessing the impact of the “distancing discourse”4 on the Jewish public. It is not possible to directly compare all the questions asked on this topic (a different wording could affect the responses). We can see that between 2017 and 2019 (when similar questions were asked), there was a decline in those who believe that Israel-Diaspora relations will be better in the future, and a rise in the share of those who anticipate a worsening. In JPPI’s Structured Jewish World Dialogue survey, whose participants, as noted, feel more attached to Israel (and do not constitute a representative sample of all Jews), we can also see that over half of the respondents answered that Israeli and Diaspora Jews are drifting apart. The JPPI survey also indicates that US respondents are the most pessimistic regarding the relationship’s future: 42.9 percent of Diaspora Jews did not agree that there is distancing, versus 30.7 percent of American respondents. A small majority of Israeli survey respondents (50.9 percent) did not anticipate further distancing.

Table 3: The Future of Israel-Diaspora Relations: Questions from different surveys

AJC 2000 – Relations between Jews in Israel and the United States AJC 2001 – Israel Jews and US Jews AJC 2003 – Jews in Israel and US in 3 to 5 years AJC 2004 – Jews in US and Israel closer or not in the next 5 years AJC 2017 – Looking ahead five years, do you think that the ties between American Jews and Israel will be … AJC 2018 – Looking ahead five years, do you think that the ties between American and Israeli Jews will be … AJC 2019 – Looking ahead five years, do you think that the ties between American and Israeli Jews will be … JPPI 2018 – Israel and world Jewry are drifting apart (United States) JPPI 2018 – Israel and world Jewry are drifting apart (world)
Will become closer 31.9% 30.40% 35.70% 28.80% Stronger than today: 22.1% Stronger than today: 19.7% Stronger than today: 18% Agree 69.3% Agree: 57.1%
Will drift apart 11.9% 6.70% 9.10% 9.90% Weaker than today: 14.4% Weaker than today: 14.8% Weaker than today: 24% Disagree: 30.7% Disagree: 42.9%
Neither 50.1% 59.40% 52.80% 59.40% Like today: 61.5% Like today: 60.4% Like today: 53%
No opinion 6.1% 3.40% 2.40% 1.90% 0.50% 0.30%

In 2019, AJC published survey findings for Israel and France as well. When Jews in Israel were asked about the relationship five years from now, 30 percent felt that it would be stronger, 23 percent answered that it would be weaker, and 38 percent expected it to remain unchanged. Among French Jews, 24 percent responded that the relationship will become stronger, 32 percent said it will become weaker, and 35 percent anticipated no change. Nine percent of the French respondents expressed no opinion.

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