Thursday, December 13, 2007

US Jews Tilt Rightwards on Israel

By Jim Lobe

"US Jews appear to have become more opposed both to Israel's making key concessions in renewed peace talks with Palestinians and to the US carrying out a military attack against Iran's nuclear facilities, according to the latest in an annual series of surveys of Jewish opinion released here this week by the American Jewish Committee (AJC)......

If the Jewish community has become more dovish on Iran and Iraq, however, it has also become more skeptical about Israeli-Arab peace efforts and a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Fifty-five percent said they believe that negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas "cannot lead to peace in the foreseeable future." Three out of four respondents said Israel could not achieve peace with a Palestinian government led by Hamas, which currently controls the Gaza Strip.

In a more stunning result, only 46 percent of respondents said they favor the establishment of a Palestinian state, while 43 percent said they oppose it.

In 2004, 57 percent of respondents said they supported the establishment of Palestinian state. Last year's survey still found majority support – 54 percent for a Palestinian states, and 38 percent opposed.

Asked whether in the framework of a permanent peace accord, Israel should be willing to compromise on the status of Jerusalem as a united city under Israeli jurisdiction, 58 percent of respondents replied negatively this year. Last year, only 52 percent were against such a compromise, which most analysts, including Olmert's deputy prime minister, Haim Ramon, consider essential to achieving a final peace agreement......"

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