Arab- & Jewish-American Beliefs Re: Ken, Henry, Zionism

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Fri May 23 08:53:37 MDT 2003


At 4:22 AM -0400 5/23/03, David Quarter wrote:
>You will be hard pressed to find a Jew today who does not support
>*Israel's right to exist* -- which I would think is the tell tale
>sign that Zionism is the domimant political force amongst the Jewish
>disaporal.

You will be hard pressed to find anyone -- even among Arab-Americans
-- in the United States today who refuses to support the idea of
"Israel's right to exist."  A two-state idea -- one Israeli and the
other Palestinian -- has come to be favored by both Arab- and
Jewish-Americans:

*****   Released: November 21, 2002
Arab American Institute, Americans for Peace Now Release Joint Survey
of Arab American & Jewish American Opinion
CONTACT:
Jenny Salan/AAI (202) 429-9210
Lewis Roth/APN (202) 728-1893

Washington, D.C.-The Arab American Institute (AAI) and Americans for
Peace Now (APN) today released a joint survey of Arab American and
Jewish American attitudes towards Middle East policy and relations
between the two communities.  Among the major findings of the survey
are: belief on both sides that the Bush Administration should be
steering a middle course in its policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian
peace process; strong backing in the two communities for secure and
independent states for Israelis and Palestinians alike; support in
both communities for a peace proposal that is broadly based on the
Taba framework; and some degree of misperception on both sides about
the willingness of the other to support Israeli and Palestinian
states. A more complete version of the AAI/APN public opinion poll
can be found at www.aaiusa.org or www.peacenow.org

The survey was conducted by Zogby International in late October 2002,
and it has a margin of error of +/- 4.5%....

THINKING ABOUT MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS ISSUES:

When asked if they agree or disagree that Palestinians have a right
to live in a secure and independent state of their own, 85.5% of
Jewish Americans said they agreed, as did 95.6% of Arab Americans.
Similarly, 96.6% of Jewish Americans agreed that Israelis have a
right to live in a secure and independent state of their own, and
95.4% of Arab Americans agreed with them. When asked if they agreed
or disagreed that Israelis and Palestinians each have the right to
live in secure and independent states of their own, 86.9% of Jewish
Americans and 96.8% of Arab Americans agreed....

[The full text of this press release is available at
<http://www.zogby.com/search/ReadNews.dbm?ID=651>.]   *****

At 4:22 AM -0400 5/23/03, David Quarter wrote:
>You're probably closer to my Dad's generation since when he attended
>Sunday school as a child, he learned Yiddish. And when he went away
>to camp, it was one sponsored by the communist party. By constrast,
>when I was a child,  I went to Sunday school to learn Hebrew and was
>always encouraged to draw the star of David during colouring time.
>And when I tried taking up Hebrew again about 5 years ago, the
>teacher (who was in his late 70s) would have sing the Haktikva at
>the end of each lesson -- and the topic of conversatioin prior to
>class concerned planning holidarys to ISrael.

It is true that few Jews today can speak Yiddish, and fewer still
have had a chance to go to a Communist Party-sponsored camp.  What's
the proportion of US Jews who go to Sunday school to learn Hebrew and
draw the Star of David, though?  Take a look at the article below,
and you'll see that Jews in the USA are strongly inclined to atheism,
secularism, and humanism -- more so than any other racial/ethnic
group here.  Barely 51% of US Jews say they are Jewish by religion.
Even "42 percent of Jews who say they are Jewish by religion
described themselves as secular or somewhat secular"!  I conclude
that only a minority of US Jews receive the sort of Sunday school
education that you describe above.

*****   The Jewish Week (11/02/2001)
Jews Turning From Judaism
Those choosing other faiths doubles in a decade, poll finds.
Debra Nussbaum Cohen - Staff Writer

The number of Jews who identify with a religion other than Judaism
has more than doubled in the last decade, marking a growing split
between Jewish ethnicity and religion.

A new portrait of American Jewish religious identification conducted
by three leading sociologists reveals that 1.4 million Jews say that
they are Jewish by dint of parentage or ethnicity but align
themselves with another faith community. In 1990, 625,000 Jews
identified themselves that way.

An additional 1.4 million Jews - another quarter of the population -
say they are secular or have no religion at all, leaving just 51
percent of American Jews to say they are Jewish by religion.

"It portends a kind of split between the two facets of identity that
historically were always unified," said Egon Mayer, who authored the
American Jewish Identity Survey with Barry Kosmin and Ariela Keysar.

"That makes it very problematic for federations, educational and
recreational institutions which have always assumed an
interconnectedness between people's religious and ethnic
identification. This split is a very serious challenge to how you
keep a group cohesive," said Mayer, who also directs the Center for
Jewish Studies at the City University of New York's Graduate Center.

The close look at Jewry is a subset of a larger study released this
week by the Graduate Center. The American Religious Identity Survey,
which examines religious identification among Americans from atheists
to Catholics to Wiccans, interviewed 50,000 randomly selected adult
respondents between February and June.

Respondents who said they are Jewish or have a Jewish background were
asked another roughly 20 multi-part questions meant to probe their
religious identity. The questions were designed to mirror those asked
on the 1990 National Jewish Population Study, so they could be
directly compared....

The new study also found that the number of Americans who say they
are Jewish either by religion or upbringing has remained stable at
5.5 million for more than a decade and that Jews are, as earlier
studies have also indicated, far more inclined toward atheism and
secularism than Americans in general....

Mayer and his colleagues debuted their findings shortly before the
United Jewish Communities convention, the General Assembly, which is
scheduled to begin next week. They intend their study to rival the
long-awaited National Jewish Population Study 2000, whose first
results were supposed to be unveiled at the GA but whose release has
been postponed until the summer.

When the 1990 NJPS revealed that just over half of Jews who had most
recently wed had married non-Jews, it rocked the organized Jewish
community and led to a rapid and dramatic shift in Jewish funding and
priority-setting.

The new information released by Mayer, Kosmin and Keysar found that
33 percent of those identifying as Jewish are married to someone who
is not, compared with the parallel figure of 28 percent in the 1990
National Jewish Population Study.

But their new report does not look at the rate of intermarriage today
or compare it to the 52 percent rate of 1990. Mayer says they asked
the relevant questions and are still analyzing that data....

What the American Religious Identification Survey 2001, as well as
its subset looking just at the Jewish community, showed is that
Americans in general are very religious. Jews, however, are not.

When asked if their outlook is "secular, somewhat secular, religious
or somewhat religious," 42 percent of Jews who say they are Jewish by
religion described themselves as secular or somewhat secular. Of
those of Jewish heritage or background, it jumped to 72 percent.

That's in sharp contrast to American adults nationally, just 15
percent of whom described their outlook the same way.

And when asked in the new study if God exists, just 4 percent of
adults nationally said no. Among Jews, though, 14 percent of Jews by
religion said no, and 25 percent of those with a Jewish background
said no....

[The full text of the article is available at
<http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/newscontent.php3?artid=5301>.]
*****

Also, to the chagrin of the Zionist establishment, the vast majority
of US Jews have never visited Israel and take little interest in the
Israeli affairs:

*****   Jews and Israel
U.S. Jewish Establishment and Zionism, Not Jews, Feel Crisis
By Lenni Brenner
October/November 1995, pgs. 20, 83

...The establishment hopes to send 50,000 teenagers per year to
Israel to find their roots. This year they spent $1 million on
subsidized tours. "An increase over 1994 of fewer than 500," was the
result described in "Can't Give a Ticket to Israel Away," in the July
27 Jerusalem Report. The richest Americans, Jews are the most
traveled. But "only 20 percent...have ever visited Israel," says an
Israeli Ministry of Tourism official....

<http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/1095/9510020.htm>   *****
--
Yoshie

* Calendars of Events in Columbus:
<http://www.osu.edu/students/sif/calendar.html>,
<http://www.freepress.org/calendar.php>, & <http://www.cpanews.org/>
* Student International Forum: <http://www.osu.edu/students/sif/>
* Committee for Justice in Palestine: <http://www.osudivest.org/>
* Al-Awda-Ohio: <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Al-Awda-Ohio>
* Solidarity: <http://solidarity.igc.org/>



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