Study: Pro-Israel community may become more hawkish

Greater concern for Israel among U.S. Orthodox Jews could alter the politics of the pro-Israel community, a new study said.

The study, conducted by Sam Abrams of Harvard University and sociologist Steven M. Cohen of Hebrew Union College, reported that among non-Orthodox American Jews, those over 65 are almost twice as likely to rate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a major consideration in their vote for president as are Jews aged 21-34. Among Orthodox Jews, however, no such variation with age occurs.

While the study, sponsored by the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at New York University, noted that multiple trips to Israel could offset the tendency among the non-Orthodox to care less about Israel’s security, it warned that current trends could significantly alter the pro-Israel Jewish landscape as Orthodox Jews come to figure more prominently as political advocates for the Jewish state.

"Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews differ dramatically not only in their levels of relative concern for Israel, but also in terms of their political stances in American life, and their approaches to the conflicts between Israel and the Palestinians," the study says. "The Orthodox are significantly more identified with conservative politics and the Republican Party and take a commensurately more ‘hawkish’ posture on Israel’s search for peace and security. If these tendencies continue, and the growth of Orthodoxy as a share of the pro-Israel Jewish constituency in the United States unfolds, the posture and politics of that constituency will change in predictable directions."

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