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Media ignore U.S. Jews-Israel disconnect

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A magazine listed the growing distance between U.S. Jews and Israel as one of the top 10 ignored stories of 2007.

Foreign Policy, which is published by top Washington think tank the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, pointed to a study by Hebrew Union College and the University of California which showed that only 54 percent of Jews under the age of 35 are even comfortable with the idea of a Jewish state. Eighty-one percent of respondents over 65 said they were comfortable with the idea.

The study was released the same week that Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer’s “The Israel Lobby” caused a stir for its assertion that Israel supporters have too much influence over U.S. policy.

Researchers Steven Cohen and Ari Kelman conducted a written survey of 1,704 non-Orthodox American Jews in which only 48 percent of respondents under the age of 35 thought the destruction of Israel would be a “personal tragedy,” while 77 percent of Jews 65 and older would see the destruction of Israel in that light.

The researchers found little correlation between respondents’ political ideologies and their views on Israel, but they did find that intermarriage and a decline in a “collective view of being Jewish” did have a bearing on the answers.

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