Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Mar/09

27

Israel, gentile & Jews

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on TumblrShare on Google+

A good point in regards to attitudes toward Israel and anti-Semitism broadly understood was brought up in the post below. How about attitudes toward Israel as a function of politics?

First, for non-Jews, on a 5 point scale:
nonjewsisrael

Second, for Jews, on a 5 point scale:
jewsisrael

The sample size for Jews is much smaller, and there is the unfortunate problem is that very few Jews consider themselves conservative so one should be cautious about inferring too much. But we know from other sources that conservative Jews tend to be very pro-Israel.

As you can see there is a trend toward a more pro-Israel sentiment as one shifts to the Right, but it was more modest among gentiles than I would have thought. There was a beta of -0.101 in a regression for gentiles (so shifting toward liberalism correlated with a with a cooler attitude toward Israel), but -0.176 for Jews. This means that politics is a better predict for Jews than gentiles when it comes to attitudes toward Israel, but the effects are modest in any case, and that for Jews is not statistically significant (p = 0.057) because of small sample size.

11 comments

  • Steel Phoenix · March 27, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I’m not sure what to take out of this except that people who have views on politics also have views on Israel, while the wishy-washy have a predictable response. An oversimplification of course, but still.

    In my experience, religion is the strongest influence on preference for Israel. A question for the godless: what do you think?

    I’ll put myself down as a -3.

  • Author comment by David Hume · March 27, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    In my experience, religion is the strongest influence on preference for Israel. A question for the godless: what do you think?

    aside from being jewish, not a big effect (i checked the GSS).

  • TrueNorth · March 27, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    I am a conservative atheist and strongly support Israel. I believe that Jews exert an influence disproportionate to their numbers but not necessarily disproportionate to their general intelligence and creativity.

    I have a friend at work. He is a very nice guy, very smart with a dry and sophisticated sense of humour. He is strongly left wing (despite having emigrated from the former Soviet Union – which makes him relatively unusual I think…all the others I know are rabid right-wingers). He reads Chomsky. He believes that in the recent Gaza war the Israelis were trying to kill as many Palestinians as possible. He also thinks that the Jews control US foreign policy and pretty much everything else.

    OK…not as extensive a sample as the GSS but I believe it pretty well sums up the situation.

    However, I don’t think the Left is antisemitic, per se. I think their antipathy to Jews in general, and Israel in particular, is due to the fact that they perceive of them as being “powerful”. “Powerful versus powerless” is the left-wing equivalent of “good versus evil” for conservatives – and just as simplistic.

    The Left’s response to pretty well all geopolitical events can be predicted easily in advance by just asking: which side is the one with the most power? The Left will support the other guys. The fact that the other guys incinerate thousands of civilians in skyscrapers or behead newspaper reporters or bake children in ovens in front of their parents or machine gun schoolchildren – all of which we simpletons on the right take a rather dim view of – seems to be of no importance to them.

  • Steel Phoenix · March 27, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    The mere thought that one can be antisemetic for opposing Israel is enough reason for me to oppose the very concept of a religious state. I’d put Judaism around the middle of the pack as far as my distaste for religions is concerned. Israel has a much lower rating in my world, due to things like their use of white phosphorus against civilian populations, which I would consider an indirect result of them being a Jewish nation. The religious differences between the two sides are the primary justification for the conflict, but should be considered separate from their war crimes as a nation.

  • Author comment by David Hume · March 27, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    . The religious differences between the two sides are the primary justification for the conflict,

    well, they have become so. but remember that zionism started out as an anti-religious movement (and religious jews opposed it), and the palestinian national movement had a disproportionate involvement of christians (e.g., george habash & the PFLP, who pioneered a lot of terrorist techniques in the 1970s). in 1900 xtians were around 20% of palestine’s population, whereas today they are closer to 2%. similarly, today the religious ashkenazi + sephardic group is much more powerful than it was 2 generations ago, and it is arguable that the secular ashkenazi heft is buttressed only by the mass influx of russians in the last 20 years.

  • Jeeves · March 28, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    @David Hume
    but remember that zionism started out as an anti-religious movement (and religious jews opposed it)

    Thanks for providing Mr. Phoenix with some historical context. Zionism, in its infancy, and for some time thereafter, was both secular and socialist. As for continued secular ashkenazi influence (and btw, it’s been pointed out that many of those Russians aren’t even Jews) Netanyahu’s decision to go with Kadima as partner suggests that that influence isn’t going away.

  • Steel Phoenix · March 28, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    The religious justification for the country existed from the beginning. From their Declaration of Independence:

    “The land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and national identity was formed. Here they achieved independence and created a culture of national and universal significance. Here they wrote and gave the Bible to the world”

    “Impelled by this historic association, Jews strove throughout the centuries to go back to the land of their fathers and regain their statehood.”

    “In the year 1897 the First Zionist Congress, inspired by Theodor Herzl’s vision of the Jewish State, proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national revival in their own country.”

    Their claim that they have a right to the land because of their religion is at the heart of the issue. If you take the religion out of it, then why are they fighting?

  • Author comment by David Hume · March 28, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    If you take the religion out of it, then why are they fighting?

    the jews are a nation. that is why. israel is a logical culmination of nationalisms which arose after the french revolution. herzl himself once thought jews could be european, and even fantasized about mass baptisms in the rhine. secular anti-semitism convinced him otherwise. ergo, a nation of jews for jews. in any case, you can quote texts however you wish, religious nationalism was marginal to the zionist movement, and the ultra-orthodox were basically bribed into accepting israel as a fait accompli.

  • outeast · March 30, 2009 at 6:08 am

    “Powerful versus powerless” is the left-wing equivalent of “good versus evil” for conservatives – and just as simplistic.

    I strongly concur. And I’m speaking as a liberal atheist and moderate anti-zionist… I actually used to be pretty strongly pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel, mainly because of exactly that prejudice.

  • Don Kenner · March 30, 2009 at 7:38 am

    Steele Phoenix, you are a perfect example of how throwing off the intellectual shackles of religion DOES NOT necessarily make one intelligent. How nice that disliking religion gives you an excuse for your ignorant, anti-Israel broadsides. White phosphorous on civilians? Give me a break. That BS is already breaking down, as we speak. Along with the so-called Gaza massacres and all those dead and wounded claimed by Hamas who mysteriously cannot be found in any hospital or morgue. Even anti-Israel European papers are reducing their tally of Pali casualties by as much as two-thirds. But you believe what you want, that’s what makes you smarter than Jerry Falwell, right?

    Israel launched the most humane military action in the history of warfare and you’re going to jump in the pile along with brain-dead Muslims and Christian anti-Semites to parrot this tired nonsense.

    “Israel has a much lower rating in my world, due to things like their use of white phosphorus against civilian populations, which I would consider an indirect result of them being a Jewish nation.”

    Tell it to Pat Buchanan and Mel Gibson’s father. They’ll buy you a drink.

    “If you take the religion out of it, then why are they fighting?”

    Jews have this annoying idea that they ought to survive, despite the fact that it tends to aggravate superior people like yourself. You understand the Arab-Israeli conflict like William Jennings Bryan understood Darwinian Evolution.

  • Eman · March 31, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    As Jeeves says, Zionism was originally not a religious movement at all – it was an ETHNIC NATIONALISM movement (Ashkenazi Jews being an ethnic group) that sought a homeland (ethnocracy) for ethnic Jews.

    Many of the original Zionists were secular and non-religious, even atheists; often educated; and Jewish only in an ethnic and cultural sense, not in terms of strictly following Judaism.

<<

>>

Theme Design by devolux.nh2.me