A new poll sponsored by the Los Angeles Jewish Journal reveals that a strong plurality of American Jews support the Iran nuclear deal, 49% to 31%. That compares to much smaller support among Americans in general, who split 28% to 24% for the deal. When asked if Congress should vote for the deal, most American Jews say yes, 53% to 35% (as compared to a 41% to 38% among Americans in general). The poll included 1,000 adults, split between Jews and non-Jews, and was conducted via telephone (and cell phone) from July 16 through July 20.
The results among American Jews contrast with polls among Israeli Jews, who are strongly against the Iran deal. A recent poll of Israeli Jews indicated that 78% believe the Iran deal endangers the country. A strong plurality of Israeli Jews favored a military strike against Iran, 47% to 35%. The rift, says Jewish Journal columnist Shmuel Rosner, is the “first damaging impact of a troubling agreement with Iran.”
One obvious reason for the split is that Israeli Jews are directly exposed to the threat of a nuclear Iran. American Jews, for whom Israel is an issue of diminishing importance, view the Iran deal primarily through the prism of domestic politics. Aside from blacks, American Jews are the most loyal supporters of President Barack Obama.
Rosner notes: “…Jews — like most other humans — tend to understand the world in a way that is compatible with their beliefs.If they support Obama, they believe Obama. If they believe Obama, they also believe him when he says that the deal is good for Israel’s security.”
Rosner’s conclusion is supported by one of the most interesting results of the poll: among those American Jews who “don’t know” whether the Iran deal will make Israel safer, 66% favor the deal while only 8% do not.