JPPI’s Voice of the Jewish People Index

Over 80% of American Jews reject US arms suspensions, identify as Zionist

80% of American Jews opposed the suspension of arms shipments to Israel as a diplomatic pressure tool, according to a recent study by the Jewish People Policy Institute.

A significant majority of American Jews voiced strong opposition to the US administration’s consideration of suspending arms shipments to Israel as a means of diplomatic pressure. The Jewish Voice Index survey, conducted by the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) in early June 2024, revealed that 80% of respondents rejected this measure, viewing it as illegitimate.

The survey, conducted against rising tensions between the American and Israeli governments, highlighted substantial differences in opinion based on political affiliation. While 92% of staunch Biden supporters perceived the president as “pro-Israel,” only 7% of staunch Trump supporters agreed. Conversely, 97% of staunch Trump supporters viewed Trump as “pro-Israel,” compared to just 20% of staunch Biden supporters.

The survey also provided insights into voting intentions for the upcoming November presidential election: Among strong liberals, 87% intended to vote for Joe Biden. 72% of liberals planned to vote for Biden, with 12% likely voting for him and 2% likely voting for Trump. Of centrists, 30% planned to vote for Biden, 13% likely for Biden, 13% definitely for Trump, and 11% likely for Trump.

Among conservative-leaning individuals, 28% likely intended to vote for Trump, 38% definitely for Trump, but 5% planned to vote for Biden.

For strong conservatives, 75% intended to vote for Trump and 11% likely for him, with only 3% likely voting for Biden.

Despite political differences, the survey indicated a strong connection between American Jews and Israel. About 80% of respondents identified as “Zionist” or “slightly Zionist.” There was a significant generational divide, with 12% of those under 25 identifying as anti-Zionist compared to 7% in the 25-35 age group. Additionally, 87% of those under 25 identified as Zionist or slightly Zionist, while 78% of those aged 25-35 did the same.

The survey also showed an increase in Jewish identity and connection to Israel following the October 7 attack, with 60% of respondents indicating a higher likelihood of visiting Israel as a result of the war. About 30% reported adding a Jewish clothing item after the events, while only 4% reported removing a Jewish item from their attire.

Prof. Yedidia Stern, president of JPPI, commented on the findings. “The report showed that the Jewish identity of many American Jews strengthened following the October 7 events, as did their connection to Israel. Despite the tragic background, there is also an opportunity here for the State of Israel to build a stronger bridge in relations between the two largest Jewish communities in the world – relations that the government has neglected over the past decade,” he said.

The survey also revealed that political tensions have not weakened the overall sense of shared destiny between American and Israeli Jews. Approximately 80% of Jews in both countries agreed with the statement that the two communities have a “common destiny,” a sentiment particularly strong among Orthodox Jews.

Moreover, the survey noted that many American Jews reported changes in their expressions of Jewish identity.

About 54% of affiliated Jews increased their participation in Jewish community activities since the war began. In comparison, 70% of unaffiliated Jews stated that the events did not lead them to engage more with the community.

The survey, conducted with 634 American Jews registered in JPPI’s Jewish Voice panel, provided insight into the opinions and trends among different Jewish groups based on religious affiliation, political inclination, and emotional connection to Israel.