Shalom Life | July 30, 2015

Study: Diaspora Jews increasingly more critical of Israel

Jewish People Policy Institute publishes new study just a year after Israel’s most recent conflict with Hamas

By: B. Shane Morganstein

Published: July 27th, 2015 in News » World

Study: Diaspora Jews increasingly more critical of Israel

Photo: Left-wing Jewish group


A new study, released this week by the Jewish People Policy Institute, indicates that Diaspora Jews and young Diaspora Jewry are growing more critical of Israel, and are feeling more alienated by the Jewish State.

The Institute, an influential think tank located in Jerusalem, released the study a year after Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, the Jewish State’s most recent war against Hamas. Entitled, “Jewish Values and Israel’s Use of Force in Armed Conflict: Perspectives from World Jewry,” the report considers the influence Israeli military action has had on Jews living outside the State of Israel, and looks at how these Diaspora Jews should respond.

The study found that Diaspora Jewry, in general, tend to understand and support the military actions of Israel, but also “doubt that Israel truly wishes to reach a peace settlement with the Palestinians.” These concerns are particularly prominent among younger Jews, where “few believe it [Israel] is making the necessary effort,” to achieve peace in the region.

The study also found that Jews outside of Israel believe that Israeli military action affects them, sometimes in the form of physical violence, and other times in their interactions with non-Jews. Similarly, many Jews reported feeling uncomfortable being forced into serving as “ambassadors” for the Jewish State. As such, many Diaspora Jews reported that they wanted to be consulted before Israel acts on sensitive issues, especially those that will have far-reaching effects for Jews everywhere.

Based mainly on questionnaires and discussion groups with Diaspora Jews, the study was published earlier this week.

However, of all the Diaspora Jews to have responded to the survey, it seems that Iranian Jews have become the most vocal, especially following the recent Iranian nuclear deal. Haroun Yashayaei, the head of Iran’s Jewish community, attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the State of Israel in an article published in a major Iranian newspaper last week. Mainly critiquing Israel’s policies in the West Bank, Yashayaei called Israel, “the regime that has been occupying a large part of the Palestinian lands since 1967, and has never heeded any of the resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly or Security Council, and has even rejected to temporarily stop building settlements.”

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