Commentary Magazine

Article Preview

No Jewish Split on Israel

- Abstract

In the last half-dozen years alone, there have been about a dozen reputable studies of American Jewish opinion on Israel. The most recent of them include nationwide polls by such groups as the Yankelovich organization and the Los Angeles Times, both in 1988; a special survey conducted for the Israel/Diaspora Institute in 1989 by Steven M. Cohen of Queens College, the dean of Jewish pulse-takers (who has also done periodic surveys for the American Jewish Committee); and several regional polls.

The exact percentages these studies have come up with can be held suspect on the usual grounds. Different methods were used, and while the samples in each case were massive, dissimilar bodies of respondents were plumbed. Thus, some of the universes contained only connected Jews (i.e., those belonging to a Jewish institution or organization); some had an indiscriminate mix of connected and unconnected Jews; and some were made up of “leadership” (typically drawn from the boards of major Jewish organizations and agencies). Moreover, different world events were in the backdrop of the answers.

About the Author