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Begin-Sadat Center: Most American Jews Don’t Care About Israel

American Jews voted overwhelmingly for Joe Biden over Donald Trump.

American Jews are less committed to the State of Israel. The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies reports that fewer and fewer American Jews place Israel at the top of their considerations when voting in elections.

According to polls, 70% to 75% of American Jews voted for Joe Biden. This was in spite of President Donald Trump’s pro-Israel policies. He not only recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the President also cited the new peace deals between Israel and the Arab nations of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain as successes, promoting this in his reelection campaign.

President Trump also recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and his administration did not call Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal.

Major polls were cited  by the Begin-Sadat Center showing that American Jews show that they put Israel at the bottom of their list of political concerns. According to a 2020 study by the Ruderman Foundation, only 4% of American Jewish voters identify Israel as their first or second most important election issue. Some 43% prioritize health care, 28% prioritize the problem of gun violence, and 21% prioritize Social Security and Medicare.

This, in part, explains why American Jews vote for the Democratic Party and voted overwhelming against Donald Trump’s bid to return to the White House.

But there has also been an increasing trend among younger American Jews in which they no longer see Israel as central to their identity as Jews. These, mostly secular Jews, do not call themselves Zionists and do not consider the possibility of moving to Israel.

Many studies and polls in recent years have shown this alarming trend. Some on the American left blame Israel for this. They maintain that Israel’s policies regarding the Palestinians alienates it in the eyes of American Jews.

Reform and secular Jews also point to the monopoly which the Orthodox Jewish establishment has on Jewish religious practices in the country as the primary cause of the drop in American Jews’ commitment to Israel. They say that most American Jews resent this fact and see it as Israel telling them that they are not really legitimate Jews.

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