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American Jews Widely Support Israel, Feel More Connected to Their Jewish Identity Since Oct. 7, New Survey Shows

People wave Israeli flags following the release of hostages who were seized during the Oct. 7 attack by Palestinian terrorist group Hamas and held in the Gaza Strip, in Ofakim, Israel, Nov. 30, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

Most American Jews have felt a stronger connection to Israel and their Jewish identity in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks, according to a new survey by the American Jewish Committee (AJC).

The AJC’s 2024 Survey of American Jewish Opinion, published on Monday, revealed that 85 percent of American Jewish adults believe it is important for the US to continue to support Israel following the Oct. 7 attacks, with 60 percent rating it as “very important.” Meanwhile, 57 percent of American Jews said they have felt more connected to Israel or their Jewish identity since the Hamas massacre, and when asked what they have done to feel more connected, 25 percent acknowledged donating to a Jewish and/or Israel-related cause. Seventy-eight percent of Jews also said they are paying more attention to news about Israel now than compared to before Oct. 7.

A total of 1,001 Jewish adults aged 18 or older were interviewed online for the survey by the research company SSRS from March 12-April 6, with a 3.9 percent margin of error.

“Despite rising antisemitism making Jews feel less safe, American Jews are defiantly proud about who they are and even more connected to Israel,” said AJC CEO Ted Deutch.

American Jews were also asked in the survey about the rise in antisemitism in the United States to record levels since the Oct. 7 attacks.

The survey found that 93 percent think antisemitism in the US is a problem and 87 percent agreed that it has increased since the Oct. 7 attacks, with 55 percent saying anti-Jewish hatred has increased “a lot” since then. Forty-five percent reported feeling unsafe expressing their views about Israel on social media, and 64 percent said discourse about the Israel-Hamas war has affected their personal or work relationships in at least one way.

However, only seven percent of respondents said they considered moving to another country due to antisemitism in the US, and more than one in ten American Jewish adults ended a friendship or relationship since Oct. 7 because the person expressed antisemitic views. Forty-two percent of American Jews admitted feeling unsafe wearing Jewish symbols, such as a Star of David, in public since Oct. 7 .

Among those surveyed, 62 percent said they received Jewish education about Israel in at least one place, including synagogue, a Jewish day school, yeshiva, or camp.

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Missile Barrage Hits Northern Israel, Emergency Services Report

Firefighters respond to a fire near a rocket attack from Lebanon, amid ongoing cross-border hostilities between Hezbollah and Israeli forces, near Kiryat Shmona, northern Israel, June 14, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Israeli emergency services reported dealing with a string of fires in northern Israel on Friday after dozens of missiles were fired from southern Lebanon into the area around the border town of Kiryat Shemona.

The military said that warning sirens had sounded in northern Israel and emergency services said teams were searching the area, where they reported there was property damage but no casualties.

Television footage on Friday showed damaged buildings and cars as well as brush fires in several locations caused by strikes or falling debris amid heatwave conditions.

The Israeli military has exchanged regular fire with Hezbollah forces across the border in southern Lebanon ever since the start of the war in Gaza in October.

Neither side has appeared to wish a wider conflict, but there has been growing worry that the steady intensification of strikes could push the situation out of control with the risk of a wider conflict in a region that has already seen direct exchanges between Israel and Iran.

The latest salvo came after an Israeli strike killed a senior commander from the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist group in southern Lebanon on Tuesday, drawing the heaviest bombardment of northern Israel since the start of the war in October last year.

Tens of thousands of residents have been evacuated from their homes on both sides of the border, creating growing pressure to resolve the stand-off, but diplomatic efforts have so far proved fruitless.

On Friday, the Israeli military said fighter jets and anti-aircraft systems had intercepted 11 of the 16 drones launched by Hezbollah against Israel in the past 72 hours.

“The Israeli Air Force is continuing to operate at all times to thwart terrorist activities and protect Israel‘s skies from any threat,” it said in a statement.

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G7 Warns Iran Over Continuing Nuclear Program Escalation

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Italian President Sergio Mattarella, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and European Council President Charles Michel pose for a family photo as they arrive to attend a dinner at Swabian Castle in Brindisi, Italy, June 13, 2024. Photo: Italian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS

The Group of Seven leaders warned Iran on Friday against advancing its nuclear enrichment program and said they would be ready to enforce new measures if Tehran were to transfer ballistic missiles to Russia, according to a draft communique.

“We urge Tehran to cease and reverse nuclear escalations, and stop the continuing uranium enrichment activities that have no credible civilian justifications,” the statement seen by Reuters said.

Iran has rapidly installed extra uranium-enriching centrifuges at its Fordow site and begun setting up others, a UN nuclear watchdog report said on Thursday.

Iran is now enriching uranium to up to 60 percent purity, close to the 90 percent of weapons grade, and has enough material enriched to that level, if enriched further, for three nuclear weapons, according to an IAEA yardstick.

Iran must engage in serious dialogue and provide convincing assurances that its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful, in full cooperation and compliance with the IAEA’s monitoring and verification mechanism, including the Board of Governors’ resolution of 5 June,” the G7 said.

Iran says its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes.

The leaders also warned Iran about concluding a deal to send ballistic missiles to Russia that would help it in its war against Ukraine, saying they were prepared to respond with significant measures if it were to happen.

“We call on Iran to stop assisting Russia’s war in Ukraine and not to transfer ballistic missiles and related technology, as this would represent a substantive material escalation and a direct threat to European security,” they said.

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Doorstep Postings: A midtown Toronto byelection play for Jewish votes brings out new accusations of Conservatives keeping a swindler’s list

This is a special edition of Doorstep Postings, the periodic political commentary column written by Josh Lieblein for The CJN. Voters in the St. Paul’s riding believe they’re living amidst Canada’s most consequential political happenings. Ottawa with its seething gossip, Quebec with its linguistic convulsions and the West with its populist stampedes are all considered child’s […]

The post Doorstep Postings: A midtown Toronto byelection play for Jewish votes brings out new accusations of Conservatives keeping a swindler’s list appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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