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Youth Don’t Buy Joan River’s Line: Young Americans Blame Israel

Many readers of Jewlicious truly kvelled when TMZ.com posted a video of Joan Rivers supporting Israel, blaming Hamas, and criticizing certain media companies for bias.

But her rant – which might be going over well among Jewish Americans and others over 30 years of age are not convincing American youth.

New research from the Pew Research Center finds that more Americans blame Hamas in Gaza for the current fighting, but this blame falls among those under 30 years of age. Youth are more likely to be critical of Israel in the current situation.

The table below shows adults over 30 are more likely to blame Hamas. But among 18 to 29-year olds, 29% blame Israel more, and 21% percent blame Hamas (this compares to 53% of the people that are Joan Rivers’ age)

Liberal Democrats are split 30-30 (Blame Israel – Blame Hamas), compared to 18-29 year olds who are 29-21. African Americans and Hispanics also blame Israel more than they blame Hamas.

By about two-to-one (40% to 22%), more whites consider Israel’s response to the current conflict about right than say it has gone too far. By contrast, blacks and Hispanics are about as likely to say Israel’s response has gone too far as to say it has been appropriate (36%-27% and 35%-28%, respectively).

(Click on the table to enlarge it)

YouthBlameIsraelPew1

Does the Pew study compare well with a recent Gallup survey? Gallup asked Americans whether they thought Israel’s recent actions were justified. The 18 – 29-year olds said by a two-to-one margin (51-25) that Israel was UNJUSTIFIED in its actions in Gaza. No other group – in Gallup’s survey – was as strongly opposed to Israel’s actions. In Gallup’s study, 65% of GOP members felt Israel is justified, while 31% of Democrats said Israel was justified.

While 50% of overall Americans told Pew that Israel has gone the right amount or not far enough, only 38% of those under thirty agree.

Israel has bigger problems than worrying about how 18-29 year old Americans – only 23% of whom stated that they are paying attention to Israel-Gaza news – think about the State of Israel. But it is a good to be aware of the rift in American public opinion by group.

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