Poll: 70% of U.S. Jews feel less safe than they did before the Israel-Hamas war
The results were released days before tens of thousands of Israel supporters are expected to turn out for what is being dubbed as the 'March for Israel' in Washington, D.C.
Marco Bello/AFP via Getty Images
More than two-thirds of American Jews — 70% — feel less safe than they did before the Israel-Hamas war and none feel safer, a poll released Thursday by the Jewish Federations of North America found.
Seventy-two percent of American Jews polled said that they thought antisemitism was increasing in their own community — in contrast to the 32% of respondents who said so from the general population. For the first time in years, respondents noted that they view antisemitism as more widespread than discrimination against other minorities. Nearly a third of those surveyed said there had been some violence or hate against Jews in their community – using words such as “tense,” “uncomfortable” and “scary” to describe their broader communities.
The findings also indicate that support for military aid to Israel is largely popular, with 59% of the general population supporting it, echoed by 87% of U.S. Jews.
The results were released days before tens of thousands of Israel supporters are expected to turn out for what is being dubbed as the March for Israel, which will be held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, just over five weeks after Hamas’ deadly rampage in Israel and while some 240 Israelis are still held captive in Gaza.
“We believe that knowledge is an important prerequisite to action, which is why this data is so powerful as our community mobilizes to march on Washington,” Mimi Kravetz, JFNA’s chief impact and growth officer, said in a briefing on Thursday.
Other notable findings include that Jews who wear distinctive items, such as a Jewish star or kippah, are twice as likely to say they feel worried “all the time” compared to Jews who do not wear these items. Asked about how elected leaders are responding to the war, Jews were 79% more likely than the general population to say their local politicians are responding well.
“[The polling] demonstrates precisely why our community feels it is so important to mobilize and come to Washington,” Eric Fingerhut, JFNA president and CEO, said in a statement, “so that we can tell our nation’s leaders directly about the need to both stand up against the rampant antisemitism in our country and remain steadfast in their incredible support for Israel. We know that large majorities of Americans support Israel in its fight against terror, and it’s important not to let a vocal minority color that view.”
The poll was conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group between Oct. 29th-Nov. 1 by text message and included 3,777 total respondents, 2,199 of them Jewish adults and 1,578 non-Jewish adults.
JFNA’s results were consistent with a survey by the Jewish People Policy Institute released in mid-October, which also found that 70% of participants reported a decline in their sense of personal security, although this did not weaken their connection with Israel.