Jews Give Bush, Republicans Failing Grades
WASHINGTON, Oct 31 (IPS) - Despite Republican efforts, led by President George W. Bush, to align the party squarely behind the policies of successive right-wing governments in Israel, U.S. Jews are expected to vote overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates in next week's elections.
According to a survey by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), U.S. Jews have continued to lose confidence in the Bush administration, particularly its conduct of the "war on terrorism" and the Iraq war, although a modest majority said they approved of the way Washington handled last summer's conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The survey, part of an annual series conducted by the AJC since the mid-1990's, found that Jews were significantly more negative than the general population as a whole on a range of Bush's policies, even as they remained relatively hawkish on Israel, pessimistic about Arab-Israeli peace, and highly sceptical about Arab intentions toward the Jewish state.
Thus, 65 percent of the 958 respondents surveyed between Sep. 25 and Oct. 16 said the U.S. should have stayed out of Iraq, while only 29 percent said the U.S.-led invasion was the "right thing" to do. By contrast, only 49 percent of the general public believes the U.S. should have stayed out, compared to 43 percent who believe it was the right decision, according to a Newsweek poll taken earlier this month.
Similarly, 62 percent of Jews said they disapproved of the way Washington has conducted the war on terrorism, twice the percentage who said they approved of it. According to a CBS-New York Times poll in mid-September, 54 percent of U.S. citizens said they approved of the conduct of the war, while 40 percent said they disapproved.
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