WASHINGTON (Dispatches) -- A survey of U.S. Jewish voters taken after the May war on Gaza finds that a sizable number of them believe the occupying regime of Israel is committing genocide and apartheid.
Among respondents to the survey commissioned by the Jewish Electorate Institute, a group led by prominent Jewish Democrats, 34 percent agreed that “Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is similar to racism in the United States,” 25% agreed that “Israel is an apartheid state” and 22% agreed that “Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians.”
Among younger voters included in the survey released Tuesday, agreement with those statements was higher. The poll found that 9% of voters agreed with the statement “Israel doesn’t have a right to exist.” But among voters under 40, that proportion was 20%. A third of younger voters agreed that Israel is committing genocide; more than a third agreed that Israel is an apartheid state.
The findings are striking as mainstream pro-Israel organizations struggle to make the case that the Zionist regime is central to Jewish identity and that criticism of it often veers into antisemitism. They suggest that many American Jews agree with statements by some of Israel’s harshest critics made during the conflict in May.
The survey of 800 voters, conducted by GBAO Strategies from June 28 to July 1 online and via texts, has an overall margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
The new survey presents the latest challenge as the new Zionist regime endeavors to repair ties with a U.S. Jewish community that to a degree became alienated from the occupying regime during the 12 years Benjamin Netanyahu was prime minister. Surveys have found that American Jews and those in the occupied Palestinian territories know little about one another.
The Democratic lawmakers who lashed out at Israel during the conflict, including Representatives Cori Bush, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib, have raised the prospect of cutting aid to the occupying regime. A smaller majority of 58% of respondents said it would be appropriate to restrict aid to Israel so it could not spend U.S. money on settlements. A majority, 62%, support Biden’s reversal of Trump’s policy of cutting off aid to the Palestinians.
Asked whether they would prefer a Democrat to a Republican in a vote for Congress in next year’s midterm elections, 68% favored a generic Democrat and 21% favored a Republican.
Democratic leaders Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer got 54% and 52% favorability ratings respectively and while Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell each got 10%.