WASHINGTON (JTA) — Three polls this week asking the same question showed a stark contrast: A substantial majority of American Jews approve of President Joe Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war, while majorities of Americans disapprove.
The upside down results appear to be a result both of Jewish appreciation for Biden’s wholehearted support for Israel during the war, as well as the tendency of Jewish voters to favor Democrats.
A poll released Thursday by the Jewish Electorate Institute found that 74% of Jewish registered voters approved of Biden’s handling of the war Hamas launched against Israel on Oct. 7.
A Marist poll conducted for public broadcasters NPR and PBS News Hour and released Wednesday found that 53% of registered disapprove of how Biden is handling the war while 41% approve. A Quinnipiac University poll released the same day found that 54% disapprove and 37% approve.
Biden has strongly backed Israel in the war, earning protests from the left, including some lawmakers in his Democratic Party.
However, his low ratings for handling the war among registered American voters appear to reflect the polarization typical of American politics in recent years, in which partisans are not willing or able to favor the other side’s leaders, even when their politics are in sync.
Only 22% of Republicans, who otherwise tend to strongly favor Israel, approved of Biden’s handling of the war in the Quinnipiac poll, while 77% disapproved. The Marist poll showed similar numbers: 72% of Republicans disapproved and 23% approved of Biden’s handling of the war.
Jewish voters favored Biden’s handling of the war more strongly than Democrats did in general. While the Jewish Electorate Institute showed 74% of Jews approved of Biden’s handling, and 26% disapproved, both general polls, Marist and Quinnipiac, showed 60% approval among Democrats for Biden’s handling of the war. The Marist poll showed 34% of Democrats disapproved, as did 33% in the Quinnipiac poll.
Jews turned out in the tens of thousands on Tuesday in Washington to rally in support of Israel, and a Jewish Federations of North America poll last week showed that a vast majority of American Jews favor military assistance for Israel.
The Jewish Electorate Institute also reported that Jewish voters approved of Biden in much stronger numbers than the general electorate, a showing typical of a Jewish electorate that has for years favored Democrats by substantial majorities.
Whereas Jewish registered voters approved of Biden’s performance as president 66% to 34%, registered voters in general, the Quinnipiac poll showed, disapproved, 59% to 37%. The Marist poll had better news for Biden, but he was still under water, with 42% of registered voters approving of his performance and 52% disapproving.
The Jewish Electorate Institute reached 800 Jewish registered voters by text between Nov. 5-9 and had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. The institute is nonpartisan, but its board is comprised mostly of prominent Jewish Democrats. GBAO, which carried out the poll, works principally for Democrats and oliberal groups.
Quinnipiac reached 1,574 registered voters between Nov. 9-13 and had a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points. Marist reached 1,293 registered voters between Nov. 6 and 9 through landlines, cell phones and internet panels. Its poll had a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.
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Protester Sets Self on Fire Outside Israeli Consulate in Atlanta
i24 News – A protester was in critical condition on Friday after setting themself on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. authorities said. A security guard who tried to intervene was also wounded.
A Palestinian flag found at the scene was part of the protest, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at a news conference. He added that investigators did not believe there was any connection to terrorism and none of the consular staff was ever in danger.
JUST IN: A pro-Palestine protester is in critical condition after they set themselves on fire in “political protest” outside of the Israeli Consulate office in Atlanta.
The protester was reportedly draped in a Palestine flag.
The protester has severe burns and unfortunately, a… pic.twitter.com/B8nUQAj2nU
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) December 1, 2023
“We do not see any threat here,” he said. “We believe it was an act of extreme political protest that occurred.” Everyone inside the consulate building was said to be safe.
Anat Sultan-Dadon, Consul General of Israel to the southeastern U.S., said: “We are saddened to learn of the self-immolation at the entrance to the office building. It is tragic to see the hate and incitement toward Israel expressed in such a horrific way.”
“The sanctity of life is our highest value. Our prayers are with the security officer who was injured while trying to prevent this tragic act. We are grateful to the city of Atlanta’s law enforcement and first responders for all they do to ensure safety.”
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Released Israeli Hostages Call for Captives to Be Freed
Israeli hostages released in the past week by Hamas in Gaza called on Saturday for the immediate release of fellow captives left behind, a day after a temporary truce that had allowed scores to come home broke down.
Tens of thousands gathered at a rally in Tel Aviv outside Israel‘s defense headquarters, where they cheered Yelena Trupanov, 50, standing on a stage just two days after being freed.
“I came to thank you because without you I wouldn’t be here. Now we must bring back my (son) Sasha, and everyone. Now.”
Similar pleas from other released hostages were shown on video.
A seven-day truce, during which Hamas had released more than 100 hostages, collapsed on Friday after Hamas breached the ceasefire.
Israel said on Saturday it had recalled a Mossad intelligence agency team from Qatar, host of indirect negotiations with Hamas, accusing the Palestinian faction of reneging on a deal that would have freed all children and women held hostage.
More than 240 people – Israelis and foreign nationals – were abducted to Gaza on Oct 7. by Hamas terrorists who burst through the border with Israel and killed 1,200 people.
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IDF Foils Stabbing Attack Near Nablus in West Bank, Eliminates Terrorist
i24 News – The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported thwarting a stabbing attack on Saturday afternoon against reserve Battalion 7037 at the X junction near Nablus in the West Bank.
According to the IDF spokesperson, the event unfolded when the forces at the roadblock became suspicious of an individual approaching the barricade.
During the questioning process, the suspect suddenly drew a knife and advanced towards the IDF personnel.
ניסיון פיגוע דקירה אירע לפני זמן קצר לעבר כוח צה”ל במילואים מגדוד 7037 שפעל בחסם בצומת האיקס סמוך לעיר שכם שבמרחב חטיבת שומרון.
הכוח חשד במחבל שהגיע לחסם והחל לתחקר אותו, המחבל שלף סכין והחל להתקדם לעבר הכוח.
הלוחמים חתרו למגע והגיבו בירי לעבר המחבל שחוסל. אין נפגעים לכוחותינו. pic.twitter.com/mEaJs58hpE
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) December 2, 2023
The soldiers, faced with the threat, engaged in contact procedures and ultimately responded by opening fire on the assailant. The spokesperson confirmed that the attacker was neutralized due to the IDF’s action.
It was also noted that there were no casualties among the IDF forces involved in the incident. According to the spokesperson, the situation at the X junction has stabilized, and IDF continues to maintain vigilance in the area to prevent further attacks.
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