Younger Jewish voters increasingly view Israel as an apartheid state in shock survey.

A growing number of Jewish Americans believe that Israel is committing genocide and apartheid against Palestinians in the occupied territories.

The survey published by the Jewish Electorate Institute is a blow to pro-Israeli groups in the US like AIPAC and to politicians in Tel-Aviv who see the Jewish-American community as a source of influence in the country.

More than 34 percent of Jewish-American voters agreed that "Israel's treatment of Palestinians is similar to racism in the United States."

A further 25 percent agreed that "Israel is an apartheid state," and 22 percent agreed that "Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians."

Younger Jewish voters were even more likely to agree with those statements, although still not a majority, which indicates younger Jewish voters are freer to speak critically of Israel.

Earlier this year, Human Rights Watch came out calling Israeli actions in the occupied Palestinian territories "apartheid and persecution."

The findings from the latest survey of Jewish voters also reflects changing social attitudes on the back of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and the global impact it has had in connecting oppressed minorities globally.

BLM started in 2013 in a bid to fight against police brutality, racially motivated attacks and institutional power that discriminates against black people.

In May of this year, as Palestinians in occupied Gaza faced an onslaught at the hands of the Israeli military, the BLM movement came out strongly in support of the Palestinian struggle.

"Black Lives Matter stands in solidarity with Palestinians. We are a movement committed to ending settler colonialism in all forms and will continue to advocate for Palestinian liberation. (always have. And always will be)," the group said in a statement.

The poll found that 9 percent of Jewish voters agreed with the statement "Israel doesn't have a right to exist." 

However, when voters under 40 were asked that same question, the number was even higher, with 20 percent agreeing with that statement.

Around 30 percent of young Jewish voters agree that Israel is committing genocide. 

Francis Boyle, a professor of international law in the US, has said that the "Palestinians have been the victims of genocide as defined by the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide."

Authors in genocide studies generally define genocide as a "coordinated plan aimed at the destruction of the essential foundations of the life of national groups so that these groups wither and die like plants that have suffered a blight."

Some have defined the Israeli occupation, settlements and systematic destruction of Palestine lands as a form of modern genocide.

The findings are likely to worry pro-Israeli organisations trying to make the case for Israel and its purported centrality to Jewish identity. An increasing number of Jewish voters do not associate criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic, an association that has often been used to stifle debate around Israeli actions towards Palestinians.

Jewish voters could only agree on one definition of anti-Semitism, with 67 percent saying that it was antisemitic to say, "Israel doesn't have a right to exist." 

Asked if they felt emotionally attached to Israel, 62 percent of respondents said they did, and 38 percent said they did not.

A similar shift in attitude has been observed amongst younger Evangelical Christians, a core support base for Israel in the US for decades.

Only 33 percent said they supported Israel, whereas 24 percent said they supported Palestinians and 42 said they support neither side.

The shift has been dramatic from a poll conducted in 2018, which found that 69 percent of young Evangelicals side with Israel and less than 6 percent sided with Palestinians.

Source: TRT World