American Jewish voters overwhelmingly backed Democrats in Tuesday’s midterm election and view former president Donald Trump and his Make America Great Again (Maga) movement as a threat, a survey conducted by the liberal advocacy group J-Street has found.
The Election Day survey, which J-Street has been conducting since 2010, comes as incidences of anti-semitism in the US have been on the rise and pro-Israel organisations like AIPAC played a new, outsize role in the midterm election.
According to J-Street’s survey, 74 per cent of American Jews voted for a Democratic member of Congress — with 55 per cent rating the “state of democracy” as one of the two issues most important to them in Tuesday’s vote.
The state of American democracy has been repeatedly questioned by Mr Trump and his election-denying political allies, a number of whom were on the ballot on Tuesday. The J-Street survey found that 74 per cent of respondents view Mr Trump and the Maga movement as a threat to Jews in America, while 72 disapproved of AIPAC’s endorsing and financially supporting candidates who voted against certifying the results of the last presidential election.
As many as 76 per cent of voters said they believe that Mr Trump and his allies in the Republican Party are directly responsible for rising anti-semitism and white supremacy in the US. Just last month, Mr Trump criticised American Jews in a social media post for being insufficiently appreciative of his support of Israel.
While American Jewish voters on average remain broadly supportive of Israel, they are not Israeli citizens and reject the notion driven by many on the right that criticism of the Israeli state is inherently anti-semitic. The overwhelming majority of respondent to the J-Street survey – 89 per cent – said a person can criticise the policies of the far-right Israeli government and still be “pro-Israel”.
The survey also found that voters support the US’s re-entering the Iran nuclear deal and still support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict roughly along the parameters laid out by the Barack Obama administration.
Jewish voters have historically backed Democrats’ approach to both domestic and foreign policy, and that support has not wavered since 2010 when J-Street began conducting its election surveys.
But with AIPAC’s endorsement of numerous election-denying Republicans and heavy involvement to stop progressive candidates in Democratic primaries in the spring and summer, and the efforts of organisations like J-Street to counter their spending, the American Jewish political space remains in many ways contested going into the 2024 cycle.
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