Gallup Poll Shows Sharp Division Among U.S. Jews on Vietnam Issue

The views of American Jews on United States involvement in the Vietnam war — subject of a heated controversy in the Jewish community involving President Johnson — are split pretty much like the attitudes of Americans generally, according to results of a Gallup Poll reported today.

The poll asked a typical sampling: “Do you approve or disapprove of the way President Johnson is handling the situation in Vietnam?”

Forty-three percent approved, 40 percent disapproved and 17 percent had no opinion. A sampling of Jewish respondents showed that 41 percent approved, 41 percent disapproved and 18 percent had no opinion. The vote of a sampling of Protestant Americans was similar but a majority of Catholics –54 percent — approved the President’s role.

Three weeks ago, the Jewish War Veterans met with President Johnson and subsequently told the press that the President had expressed “surprise” at the lack of Jewish support for his Vietnam policy and that the President had linked American Jewish backing of that policy with United States aid to Israel. As a result of growing concern over the President’s purported views, 40 Jewish leaders held a meeting last week with Arthur J. Goldberg, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, who reportedly clarified the President’s position and assured the Jewish leaders the President did not seek to link Jewish views with aid to Israel.

The position of the Jewish leaders that American Jews did not have any uniform view, as Jews, on the Vietnam struggle was thus confirmed today by the Gallup Poll.

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