Poll: U.S. Jews overwhelmingly back Gaza operation

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Seventy-nine percent of American Jews felt Israel’s actions in Gaza were appropriate, according to a new Anti-Defamation League poll.

Just 17 percent said Israel’s response to the "current crisis in Gaza" was excessive, according to the poll of 400 American Jews surveyed from Jan. 13-19. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.

An even greater number, 81 percent, felt Hamas was "responsible" for the recent escalation in violence, with only 14 percent blaming Israel.

The poll also found that 63 percent of American Jews support the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza and 66 percent approve of Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza.

Some dovish pro-Israel groups, led most prominently by J Street, criticized Israel’s operation in Gaza. ADL was a strong backer of Israel’s actions.

"The survey findings strongly contradict those who disagreed with Israel’s actions against Hamas and claimed there was a sharp division in the American Jewish community,” said ADL national director Abraham Foxman in a statement. “The vast majority of the Jewish community clearly understands and overwhelmingly supports Israel’s effort to stop Hamas’ constant rocket attacks and cripple its terrorism infrastructure. The Jewish community is an open community where different views are welcome.  It was unfortunate that some seem to have an interest in exaggerating the level of disagreement on this issue.”

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