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February 11, 2016 / 2 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘survey’

Poll: Obama Winning Back Jews

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Jewish support for President Obama has improved significantly in the last year and a half, according to a new survey by the American Jewish Committee .

Release Monday, the poll shows 61 percent of Jews would vote for Obama, as opposed to 28 percent for Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

In September, an AJC survey showed President Obama scoring 50 percent of votes, with Romney earning 32 percent.

However, exit polls in 2008 showed Obama winning 78 percent of Jewish votes.

In the latest AJC poll, respondents listed the economy and health care as the most important campaign issues.

Respondents also supported Obama’s treatment of Israel, with 58 percent approving of his management of the US-Israel relationship, up a whopping 18 percent since last September.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also took a leap in approval for his handling of the US-Israel relationship – up to 70 percent from 54 percent in September.

An overwhelming majority – 89% – of AJC poll respondents expressed concern over Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, with 64 percent saying the US should conduct a military strike if all other alternatives fail to thwart Iranian nuclear progress.

The online poll took place March 14-27 and surveyed 1,074 respondents who identified themselves as Jewish. It had a margin of error of 4.8 percentage points.

AJC Survey Shows Jewish Support for Obama Dropping, But Few Favor Romney

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

A new AJC survey of American Jews shows President Obama would win a majority of the Jewish vote in a contest against Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee. Obama would gain 61 percent and Romney 28 percent, with 11 percent undecided.

Obama won 78 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008.

The national survey reveals certain indicators of Jewish voting behavior. Probed for the first time, for example, is the link between religious activity (based on frequency of synagogue attendance) and voting behavior:

Among the 14 percent of American Jews who attend religious services one or more times per week, 52 percent would vote for Obama and 34 percent for Romney. By comparison, 67 percent of those who never attend religious services – 31 percent of respondents – would vote for Obama, while 21 percent would vote for Romney.

The survey also found that more Jewish women (67 percent) than men (55 percent) would vote for Obama, while Romney is favored by 34 percent of American Jewish men and 22 percent of women.

The AJC survey also explored Jewish identity and attachment to Israel.

“Our survey confirms a politically active, and yet diverse, American Jewish community that has strong views on the pressing issues confronting the United States,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris.

Asked for the most important issues in deciding their vote, 80 percent of American Jews cite the economy, 57 percent health care, 26 percent national security and 22 percent U.S.-Israel relations.

More than half — 57 percent — approve of the way President Obama is handling the economy. Sixty-two percent of those voters who cite the economy as a top issue in the election prefer Obama to Romney, who would win 28 percent of those voters.

Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of American Jews who cite health care as a top concern would vote for Obama if the election were held today against Romney, while Romney would win 19 percent of their votes.

But among Jews who are more focused on national security concerns or U.S.-Israel relations, only 42 percent would vote for Obama. Forty-four percent of those who cite national security and 45 percent of those who cite U.S.-Israel relations would vote for Romney.

Almost one in five respondents to the survey identify themselves as Republican (19 percent), more than half as Democrat (52 percent), and about one-quarter as Independent (26 percent).

On the current state of U.S.-Israel relations, 58 percent approve and 40 percent disapprove of President Obama’s handling of the relationship. By comparison, 70 percent approve of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s handling of U.S.-Israel relations and 28 percent disapprove.

Iran’s nuclear program continues to concern American Jews.

89 percent are concerned about the prospect of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, and 11 percent are not concerned.

If diplomacy and sanctions fail, 64 percent would support, and 34 percent oppose, U.S. military action against Iran, while 75 percent would support, and 25 percent oppose, Israeli military action.

Regardless of how the respondents intend to vote, 60 percent think the Democratic Party is more likely to make the right decision in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program. Thirty-seven percent choose the Republican Party.

On the Arab-Israeli peace process, the survey found that 37 percent think that prospects for peace have decreased since a year ago, 7 percent think they have increased, and 55 percent think prospects for peace have stayed the same.

In a series of questions about relations between American Jews and Israel, the survey found that a majority of U.S. Jews – 59 percent – have never visited Israel, 19 percent visited once, and 21 percent have visited two or more times.

Among those American Jews who have never visited Israel, 48 percent say they have never had the opportunity to go, 32 percent say it is too expensive, 13 percent say they are afraid to go, and 31 percent say they are not interested.

And, nearly nine out of ten (87 percent) of those Jews who never attend religious services have never been to Israel, while only 26 percent of religiously active American Jews (those who attend services at least once a week) have not traveled to Israel.

At the same time, 71 percent of respondents believe that caring about Israel is a very important part of being a Jew.

The AJC survey of 1,074 American Jews was conducted by Knowledge Networks, March 14 – 27, 2012, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percent. The full survey, selected highlights and methodology are available at www.ajc.org.

Poll: 93% of Israeli Jews Proud to be Israeli, 81% Feel Affinity with Diaspora Jewry

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

An overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews are patriotic and prefer to live in Israel over any other country, according to a poll administered by Israeli daily Israel Hayom in honor of Independence Day.

In response to the question “how proud are you to be Israeli?” 93% of respondents described themselves as “proud,” while 70% said they were “very proud.” Over 80% said they plan on flying an Israeli flag on their homes or cars.

74% of those asked said Israel is a good country to live in. According to Israel Hayom, “those groups most satisfied with life in Israel are people over the age of 55, religious people, and residents of Jerusalem…Among those who said they were dissatisfied with life here, the largest group (around 50%) of respondents, were aged 25-44.”

When asked the more specific question of what they love most about Israel, “20.2% of respondents chose ‘people’ as the thing they love most in Israel. In second place, only a tenth of a percent behind, were nature and the country’s landscape. High marks also went to the sense of shared fate here (16.4%), as well as our national character, 13.1%.”

30% of respondents said the most “Israeli” characteristic is “helping others.” “Shimon Peres” (!) came in second with 21%, followed by “barbecues,” “complaining,” the expression “yallah, bye,” and “Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball.”

In terms of how respondents define themselves, 65% view themselves as Jews first, and then Israelis. 21% consider themselves more Israeli than Jewish.

Israelis’ sense of kinship transcends their geographic borders, as 81% of respondents said they “feel an affinity towards Diaspora Jews.”

New Survey: Fewer US Jews Support Obama, Fewer Still Like Sarah Silverman

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

As of now, 62 percent of Jewish voters favor Obama’s return—down from 78 percent in 2008—but this number is still more than twice the number who said they would prefer a Republican candidate, according to the survey released Tuesday at a National Press Club briefing.

The poll of 1,004 American Jews was conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute and was funded by the Nathan Cummings Foundation, which supports liberal Jewish causes.

Mitt Romney, at 58 percent, had the greatest support among Jews who would vote Republican. Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul trail with 15 percent, 13 percent and 12 percent, respectively. Seven percent of Jews who voted for Obama in 2008 said they would prefer a Republican candidate in 2012.

The survey looked at how Jewish values, experiences and identity are shaping political beliefs and behavior, as well as influencing social action in the Jewish community.

Some 51 percent of Jewish voters said the economy would be most important to their vote for the next president. Fifteen percent cited the gap between rich and the poor, 10 percent said health care, and 7 percent saw the federal deficit as being important to their vote.

The survey also found 84 percent saying that pursuing justice and 80 percent saying that caring for the widow and orphan are somewhat or very important values that inform their political beliefs and activities.

The survey presented a list of eight public figures and asked respondents to rate how well the individuals represented Jewish values. The list included Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, comedian Jon Stewart and US Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

Netanyahu topped the list, with 73 percent saying he represented Jewish values well or very well. Comic Sarah Silverman was at the bottom, with 37 percent saying she represented Jewish values well or very well, trailing just behind Cantor at 38 percent.

Report: 65% of Jewish Israelis Say Strike on Iran’s Nuke Program Less Dangerous than Nuclear Iran

Monday, March 26th, 2012

A new survey shows that 65% of Jewish Israelis believe that an attack on Iran to thwart its nuclear ambitions would be less dangerous than living under the specter of a nuclear Iran, Haaretz reported Wednesday.

The question asked whether the respondent agreed with the assertion that the price Israel would have to pay for living with the threat of an Iranian bomb would be greater than the price it would pay for attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities. 26% percent disagreed with the statement, while 9% expressed ambivalence.

The poll was conducted by Professor Camil Fuchs for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Fuchs also supervised the March 4-5 Haaretz Dialog poll which showed that 58% of Israelis polled opposed an Israeli strike on Iran, without U.S. support.

In a representative sampling of 505 Jewish Israelis, 60% also agreed with the statement that only military force could halt Iran’s nuclear program, while 37 % disagreed; and when asked if they believed that Israel’s home front will suffer equally whether its Israel that attacks Iran or the United States, 63% answered in the affirmative, as opposed to 29% who disagreed.

The survey also found that 64% of Jewish Israelis polled believe that the IDF could inflict significant damage Iran’s nuclear program, with 29% disagreeing.

Breaking down the responses further, Haaretz reported that religious Zionists were the most resolved about confronting Iran, and expressed the most confidence in the IDF’s ability to launch a successful strike against Iran.

These results, coupled with the earlier poll by Haaretz, suggest an apparently contradictory picture of Israeli feelings on Iran. But Israelis are simply saying: “Iran is an existential threat. The only way to deal with this threat is militarily. We will suffer no matter who strikes Iran. We believe Israel can launch a successful strike. But we really don’t want to go it alone – with all the denunciations, condemnations, and anti-Israel activity that is sure to follow, (and American cover is nice).”

Islam Expert: Numbers Don’t Add Up in CAIR Survey of US Mosques, Islamic Radicalism

Monday, March 12th, 2012

A survey released two weeks ago, sponsored in part by CAIR and titled “The American Mosque 2011,” revealed a tremendous growth in the number of mosques across the US in the ten years since 9/11. The primary researcher of the study claims that the conditions of public and government pressure and suspicion have contributed to – rather than deterred – this increase.

The survey’s researchers counted 2,106 mosques in the United States, mostly in or around big cities, with 503 mosques in New York state and California. While many mosques have historically been established by South Asian immigrants, the study found that newer immigrant groups such as Somalis, Iraqis, West Africans, and Bosnians have begun to erect their own mosques since 2000.

Ihsan Bagby, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Kentucky who was the primary researcher for the study, told Jaweed Kaleem of the Huffington Post that “the continued growth of the community is amazing.” Bagby, a Muslim, conducted similar surveys of mosques in 1994 and 2000. “It’s remarkable the amount of mosques that have been built in the last 10 years. It’s kind of counter-intuitive to factors working against them.”

David Yerushalmi, an expert on Islamic law and its intersection with Islamic terrorism and national security, provided some insight on the survey. “Indeed, Bagby’s references to the ‘factors working against’ Muslims in America since 9/11 is a not-so-veiled reference to the Muslim Brotherhood’s campaign to claim that Muslims are discriminated against in the US by what they term ‘Islamophobes,’ and that Muslim Americans are prevented from practicing their religion and from building mosques,” says Yerushalmi.

Yerushalmi, who co-authored the book “Sharia: The Threat To America, An Exercise in Competitive Analysis” and has been instrumental in drafting and enacting legislation to insulate state courts from the growing tendency to embrace constitutionally offensive foreign laws (including Sharia – Islamic law), says that the so-called Islamophobe campaign was initiated and funded in large part by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in coordination with Muslim Brotherhood groups in the US – with the lion’s share of the funding coming from wealthy Gulf Arabs. This campaign condemns anyone with a public profile who says anything critical about ‘Islamism’. ‘Islamism’ is the political movement manifest in the Arab Spring, he explains, especially in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists control 70 percent of the parliament, and seeks to apply Sharia as the law, not only of Muslim countries, but also of western countries with substantial Muslim populations.

One of the features of Sharia is capital punishment for apostasy (in other words, curtailing freedom of religion) and blasphemy (contradicting freedom of speech).

The survey reports that more than 98 percent of mosque leaders surveyed said that Muslims should be involved in American society, and 91 percent said that Muslims should be involved in American politics. 87 percent of mosque leaders disagree with the assertion that radicalism is increasing among young Muslims. Only six percent agreed that it was increasing.

In support of the last finding, which suggests that US Muslims are different from their brethren everywhere else, Haaretz published a story in early February about Imam Muhammad Shamsi who immigrated to New York from Indonesia, and emphatically condemned the pronouncement by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem that killing Jews is a “religious Islamic goal.”

“The Mufti presented a corrupted interpretation of the verse of the Koran and wholly misconstrued its meaning,” said Imam Ali. “[The Mufti] has adhered to the literal translation of the verse and completely ignored the necessary interpretation that is given to that passage,” he explained, adding: “This is a total error and his words are libelous because Islam is completely opposed to encouraging hatred between fellow men.”

Yerushalmi is quick to point out that, in effect, Imam Shamsi is saying there are two completely different kinds of Islam, one – in America – is rational and mature, while the other permeates the rest of the Muslim world – where 98 percent of the 1.2 billion Muslims live. There, survey after survey show that 50-70 percent desire a Sharia-based political order. Moreover, he points out, the same percentages of Muslims in those countries reject nationalism in favor of a revived transnational Caliphate (Muslim empire).

“But this survey, which was conducted in cooperation with Muslim Brotherhood groups in the US, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization the US Department of Justice named as an unindicted co-conspirator with the Hamas-tied Holy Land Foundation,” says Yerushalmi, “contradicts a more empirical peer-reviewed study published in two leading academic and professional journals in the Summer and Fall of 2011, respectively.”

Contradictory Results

That other study, often referred to as the Mapping Sharia study, was conducted and released by Yerushalmi himself, who serves as general counsel to the Center for Security Policy, a national security think tank in Washington, D.C., and Mordechai Kedar, assistant professor in the department of Arabic and Middle East studies and a research associate with the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies, both at Bar Ilan University.

The Mapping Sharia study took a representative sampling of all US mosques from 2008-2010 and measured adherence to Sharia (via observable examples of manifest religiosity, such as Islamic garb, enforced prayer lines, and gender separation) and the presence of violent Jihadist literature, much of which is the work of leading Muslim Brotherhood figures, and whether the imam of each mosque promoted such violent literature.

The results of that study show that 80 percent of the mosques in the US contain violent Jihadist literature and the imams in most of those mosques promote the violent literature. Moreover, there was a statistically relevant correlation between Sharia adherence in the mosques and the promotion of the violent Jihadist literature.

“But, obviously,” says Yerushalmi, “this newest survey, even if taken at face value, seems at odds with multiple reports on vehement anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic rallies and conferences on US campuses, fueled mostly by Muslim Brotherhood groups, along with Palestinian students and academics. Most recently, we’ve been treated to a story about Israeli Apartheid Week on the Brandeis University campus, of all places.”

But, of course, points out Yerushalmi, “the deeper problem with this new survey is that it only tells us what Muslim religious leaders were willing to tell surveyors. This says nothing about US Muslims, only about what must be viewed as a public relations effort by the Muslim Brotherhood groups who conducted the survey,”

Here are a few of the more interesting claims of of “The American Mosque 2011: Basic Characteristics of the American Mosque, Attitudes of Mosque Leaders.” The survey can be downloaded free online. (The list was delineated by Jaweed Kaleem)

– The average number membership of an American mosque was 1,248 in 2011, which counts Muslims who at least pray for Eid-al-Fitr, one of two major holidays, at the mosque. That’s down from 1,625 in 2000, and is likely because of a growth in the number of mosques.

– The total number of mosque participants or “Mosqued Muslims” has increased from 2 million in 2000 to over 2.6 million Muslims in 2011. In his study, Bagby writes that “if there are 2.6 million Muslims who pray the Eid prayer, then the total Muslim population should be closer to estimates of up to 7 million.”

“This number of Eid prayer worships is suspect,” says David Yerushalmi, whose Mapping Sharia study counted the number of regular mosque attendees. “Mosque attendance in the US is like other religious groups; less than half attend with any regularity. And, while mosque attendance at the Eid prayer is at its peak, if this number were correct, there would actually be an average attendance across 2100 mosques of 1,240 worshipers. That number is a gross inflation, because there is simply insufficient room for such crowds in most of the US mosques.”

Yerushalmi also explains that this finding of “Mosqued Muslims” is another indication of the lack of a sound methodology used by this new survey. “The claim that there are 2.6 million ‘Mosqued Muslims’ in the U.S. contradicts most other reputable surveys, such as a 2010 one by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, which said there were only 2.6 million Muslims in the entire country.” A Pew report from last year said there were 2.75 million Muslims.

The Pew study also found that American Muslims are generally more assimilated and less religiously observant than Muslims in Muslim countries and most experts say that less than half of American Muslims attend a mosque regularly—a number in line with other religious groups in the US. While the Mapping Sharia study found that it is the Muslims who regularly attend mosques in the US who show the same level of Sharia adherence and tendency toward the violent literature as one finds in the global Muslim population.

– Seventy-six percent of existing mosques were established after 1980.

– Shiite mosques are growing. Around 44 percent of all Shiite mosques were established in the 1990s. Approximately 7 percent of mosques identified themselves as Shiite and 37 percent of those are in the West, especially California. Most Shiites at American mosques are South Asians, Arabs, and Iranians.

– A minority of mosques (3 percent) have just one ethnic group that attends. South Asians, Arab-Americans, and African-Americans are dominant ethnic groups among mosque members, but significant numbers of Somalis, West Africans, and Iraqis now worship at mosques nationwide.

– The number of mosques in urban areas is decreasing, while the number of mosques in suburban areas is increasing. In 2011, 28 percent of mosques were located in suburbs, up from 16 percent in 2000.

– The conversion rate per mosque has remained steady over the past two decades. In 2011, the average number of converts per mosque was 15.3. In 2000 the average was 16.3 converts per mosque.

Yerushalmi also takes issue with the self-reporting of the imams surveyed. “This number is patently an exaggeration and an attempt to claim greater success at ‘Dawa’ or proselytizing than the empirical evidence suggests.”

As Yerushalmi puts it, if this number were correct, one would expect 34,328 converts annually in the U.S. (2,106 mosques times 16.3 converts/year). This would represent a 1.3 percent US Muslim growth rate attributable just to conversion. “Yet, we do not see this reflected in the Muslim population increases over the years, especially when one factors in other variables such as higher than average birth rates and immigration, less deaths and drop-outs. The numbers don’t add up and what is most intriguing is that the researches simply ignored these anomalies.”

The survey also touts the the claim that 56% of imans follow the more flexible (modern) approach to Islam. What the data mentions, but the survey report ignores, is that in 2000, 71% of imams claimed to follow the more moderate path, indicating a 15% drop in moderation since the previous study.

And finally, the survey does not ask the one pertinent question that might possibly have given a more accurate insight into the actual degree of radicalism of the imams and their beliefs, if answered truthfully. That question being: “Do you support the application of Sharia law in the US?”

Americans Rank Iran as Top US Enemy

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

According to a Gallup poll released Monday, Americans rank Iran as the US’  top enemy.

The poll, which was conducted February 2-5, asked: “What one country anywhere in the world do you consider to be the United States’ greatest enemy today?” 32% of respondents said Iran, while 23% said China.  North Korea was the only other country to register in double digits, with 10%.

Iran has topped Gallup’s annual World Affairs poll each of the last five surveys, with the number of people perceiving Iran as America’s greatest threat rising 7% from last year.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/americans-rank-iran-as-top-us-enemy/2012/02/21/

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