October 4, 2013

Most U.S. Jews believe two-state solution is possible, but many doubt leaders’ efforts are sincere

This Sunday, Oct. 6, marks the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the Yom Kippur War. On Oct. 6, 1973, a coalition of Arab forces led by Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. After nearly three weeks of conflict, a ceasefire was imposed with Israel holding its borders.

Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty in 1979, but Israel still does not have diplomatic relations with Syria and several other Arab countries. In addition, of course, Israeli and Palestinian leaders are still trying to work toward a possible peace agreement and two-state solution.

FT_13.10.04_YomKippurWar_1A major new Pew Research Center survey released this week asked American Jews about Israel and the prospects for peace. When asked if there is a way for Israel and an independent Palestinian state to coexist peacefully, 61% of U.S. Jews say yes while 33% say no, which is more optimistic than the U.S. general public (50% yes vs. 41% no) and the Israeli public (50% yes vs. 38% no).

American Jews, however, are skeptical that either Israeli or Palestinian leaders are making a sincere effort to reach a peace settlement. About four-in-ten (38%) say the current Israeli government is making a sincere effort, while 48% say this is not the case. Even fewer (12%) think that the Palestinian leadership is sincerely attempting to make peace; 75% do not think Palestinian leaders are sincere in this regard.

The survey took place between February and June this year, before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced a renewed push for peace talks in July.

Jews in the United States, 43% of whom say they’ve been to Israel and 69% percent of whom say they are at least somewhat attached to the Jewish state, also express concerns about the continued building of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. A plurality (44%) of American Jews say these settlements hurt Israel’s security, while 17% say they help make Israel more secure and 29% say they do not make a difference.

Topics: Wars and International Conflicts, Middle East and North Africa, Jews and Judaism

  1. Photo of Michael Lipka

    is a senior editor focusing on religion at Pew Research Center.

1 Comment

  1. Martina3 years ago

    The 4th Geneva Convention does not apply to Gaza or the West Bank since at the time of ratification neehitr territory was under the jurisdiction of any state at the time. I am sure you are aware that Gaza was originally under control by Egypt while the West Bank was under Jordan’s control in which both at one point were invaded and occupied by IDF since the territories were used as platforms to launch attacks against Israel by Muslim states. Israel considers itself an authority in Gaza and West Bank as which is granted to an occupying power, is allowed and specified under the 4th Geneva Convention as well.In terms of the Six Day War that was not started by Israel but started by her neighbors. Prior to the conflict Israel was victim from attacks by terrorists it was discovered were being allowed to migrate through Syria. Egypt at first sent troops to the Sinai Peninsula due to an, admittedly, flase report that Israel was going to invade Jordan. Egypt later closed the Straits of Tiran considered an international water way at the time. Egypt then joined in the engagement due to a pact the country had with Jordan and Syria in which all 3 countries had military agreements with each other. Israel did start the fighting with an airstrike but the aggressions that lead up to the war were initiated by her Muslim neighbors. The reason for a lack of self determination by Gaza and West Bank Palestinians is simple, if they stop supporting terrorists and recognize Israel’s right to exist then the violence will stop. The Muslims not only refuse to but even reject any agreement geared to bringing peace to the region.To begin with I suggest you look up a man named Muhammad Amin al-Husseini. He was Yasser Arafat’s uncle and a Muslim cleric who ended up migrating to Germany and got a personal audience with Adlof Hitler. Husseini helped Hitler implement his Final Solution as well as raise Muslim regiments for the Nazis. When Nazi Germany fell he continued his activities helping to create groups like the PLO and Young Egypt Party which was a pro-Nazi organization. Among Young Egypt’s members were future Egyptian Presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat.Nazism did not die with the defeat of Hitler but migrated to the Middle East thanks to Husseini in which you see Nazi influences in groups like Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood (whose founder Hasan al-Banna was a Nazi sympathizer) and Hizbullah.