The recent eruption of the volcano in Israel / Palestine also drew attention to Transforming democratic attitudes toward Israel, Including between Younger Jewish Americans, Israel’s focus on the evangelical right as a cornerstone of US support for the Jewish state has proven its growing importance. As our research showed in a Critical Issues Poll at the University of Maryland, evangelical attitudes toward Israel account for most of the Republican Party’s support for Israel. Without evangelistsRepublican positions on Israel do not deviate fundamentally from the rest of America.
It may explain these trends in recent US policy statement By former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer argues that Israel should spend more of its energy reaching out to “enthusiastic” American evangelicals than Jews, who are “disproportionately among our critics.” Dermer criticizes former Israeli Consul General in New York Danny Dayan, Added “Our embassy in the capital of the United States has invested most of its energy in the relationship with conservatives, Republicans, Evangelists and a certain type of Jews only.”
But new The survey Commissioned by the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, researchers, carried out by the Barna Group, have revealed what we have discovered for some time: younger evangelicals are less supportive of Israel than older evangelicals, by a widening margin. The poll found a drastic shift in attitudes between 2018 and 2021: support for Israel among young evangelicals decreased from 75% to 34%. This raises questions about the sustainability of the strong evangelical support for Israel that the Israeli right has cultivated for years and has proven reliable during the Trump administration.
To examine this shift further, I analyzed two large opinion polls at the University of Maryland of critical issues for evangelicals in 2015, at the start of the US presidential campaign, and 2018, two years after Donald Trump’s presidency. The gap in support for Israel between evangelicals under the age of 35 and those over the age of 35 widened dramatically by October 2018.
Note that the poll question, which has been asked over many years, specifically examines “the role that the United States wants to play in mediating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” with three options: leaning toward Israel, leaning toward the Palestinians, and leaning toward either side. Over the years, the proportion of evangelicals / Christians born again who chose the “inclination toward Israel” was higher than any other segment of the population. As would be expected in many cases across the US population, including that of Israel, age is a factor. In general, older Americans (35 years and over) were more inclined to want the United States leaning toward Israel than younger Americans (18-34). But there are marked differences in attitudes among evangelicals compared to the rest of the population.
First, our 2018 survey showed a significant decline in support for young evangelicals for Israel since 2015, accompanied by a dramatic rise in those who want to see the United States lean toward the Palestinians. While 40% of young evangelicals wanted the United States to lean toward Israel in 2015, only 21% said the same in 2018. Meanwhile, while only 3% of young evangelicals wanted to lean toward Palestinians in 2015, 18% said so In 2018. The difference between supporters of the two sides narrowed from 37 percentage points in 2015 to three points in 2018 – a hypothetical draw (within the margin of error).
Second, the difference of opinion about the tendency toward Israel among younger and older evangelicals also expanded from 2015 to 2018. The gap went from 14 percentage points in 2015 to 24 points in 2018, indicating that there are dynamics at play among evangelicals that go beyond the typical differences. Between generations among the population. This conclusion is reinforced by the following finding.
Third, among non-evangelicals, the gap between younger and older respondents who want the United States to lean toward Israel also exists, but is narrower than it is among evangelicals. It was 10 points in 2015 (compared to 14 among evangelicals); And 13 points in 2018 (compared to 24 among Evangelicals).
In particular, and in parallel, in 2018, young evangelicals grew to be weak in support of Palestinians – with 18% choosing the “inclination toward Palestinians” – non-evangelicals, at 9%. By comparison, in 2015, only 3% of young evangelicals tended toward Palestinians while 5% of non-evangelicals said the same.
Overall, the decline among young evangelicals who want the United States to lean toward Israel from 2015 to 2018 has been staggering and extraordinary in terms of size. I haven’t done excess sampling or separate surveys of Evangelicals since 2018, so the new 2021 poll conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina on related issues gives us a sense of the potential change since then, as the previous survey was also conducted in 2018. The questions are not identical. With the questions we asked – namely, those that identify younger people from 18 to 29, while in our survey, ages 18 to 34 – so a direct comparison isn’t possible. Nevertheless, they are looking into the same general question of evangelical support for Israel. Their findings indicate a continuous and significant shift among young evangelicals away from supporting Israel.
As I indicated above, this shift cannot be explained by reference to only the typical differences between younger and older Americans; It is more fundamental than the transformations among non-evangelicals. This requires a different type of trend analysis among evangelicals that goes beyond this brief outline of change and indicates that the motives are likely to be broader. It is possible that the Trump factor has exacerbated the generational divide among evangelicals. There are some Guide Suggesting that young evangelicals may have been horrified by Trump and wanted their leaders to be more distant from him; It could be further investigated whether or not Trump’s embrace of Israel might influence their views. In our polls, we found that evangelicals, most of whom support Israel, still say Trump He tilted toward Israel More than they did.
University of North Carolina researchers, too Suggest That young evangelicals are less interested / do not know much about Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that only 38% of them said that their religious beliefs led them to support Israel, while 17% said that their beliefs led them to support the Palestinians. Another verifiable factor is whether it is The work of progressive evangelical organizations, Which focuses on social justice, was most effective among young evangelists. 2018, Article In The New Yorker he notes that the separation of families on the US-Mexico border, climate change, and many progressive causes motivated young evangelicals. For those interested in social justice, the plight of the Palestinians was growing look Through this post with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Finally, there is evidence that younger evangelicals are increasingly more diverse than older and less white evangelicals, the group that tends to be more supportive of Israel. For example, in our 2015 survey, the percentage of whites among young evangelicals was 64% compared to 76% of older evangelicals. The gap grew even more in 2018, with whites accounting for 47% of young evangelicals compared to 65% of older evangelicals. But a full analysis of what may be behind this dramatic transformation is outside the scope of this short article.
The bottom line is that there is evidence of a fundamental and unusual shift. If the Israeli right is pinning its hopes on strong support from evangelicals as the backbone of US patronage for the Jewish state, anchored in a biblical narrative that ignores international law and norms – as we witnessed during the Trump administration – then trends among young evangelicals raise questions about the path of strong evangelical support for Israel motivated by religion. .
University of Maryland Critical Issues Survey Implemented by Nielsen Scarborough through the Online Probabilities Board, which was originally recruited by mail and phone using a random sample of adults provided by Survey Sampling International. The 2015 survey included 1,074 reborn Evangelicals / Christians, while the 2018 survey included 659 reborn Evangelicals / Evangelicals.