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VOL. 42 | NO. 42 | Friday, October 19, 2018

Poll finds Trump's pro-Israel stance does not sway US Jews

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JERUSALEM (AP) — President Donald Trump's pro-Israel positions have not garnered him support from American Jewish voters, according to a new survey.

The poll found that 74 percent of Jews planned to vote for Democratic candidates in November's midterm elections. The figure corresponds with similar voting patterns in past elections.

Overall, 75 percent of American Jews disapproved of the president's policies, particularly on domestic issues such as immigration, taxes and health care.

The survey was conducted by the Mellman Group, a U.S. polling agency, for the nonpartisan Jewish Electorate Institute. It surveyed 800 American Jewish voters from a variety of backgrounds and geographic areas and had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

Trump's foreign policy fared no better, with widespread criticism of the president's handling of anti-Semitism, the Iranian nuclear deal and his moving of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. The embassy move, in contrast, has been warmly welcomed in Israel.

While a slim majority approved of Trump's warm relations with Israel, only 6 percent said this will cause them to consider supporting him or a Republican candidate. Over 60 percent disapproved of how Trump has dealt with the Palestinians.

The Palestinians severed ties with the U.S. after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital last December. Since then, the U.S. has cut hundreds of millions of dollars of support for the Palestinians.

Although 92 percent of American Jews identified as "pro-Israel," 59 percent said they find fault with at least some of the Israeli government's policies. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has forged a close bond with Trump, deepening a rift with the mostly liberal Jewish American community.

The survey confirms Jewish voters' entrenched loyalty to the Democratic party, "negative assessments" of Trump and show that they "prioritize domestic issues in deciding which candidate to support," the poll's authors said.

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