Most American Jews eat pork
At the end of September 2016, the PEW research center published a survey in which the adult Jewish population in both the USA and Israel was asked about central issues and lifestyle habits. In addition to a great bond, the respective perspectives are very differentiated. The differences could hardly be greater in some cases.
If you are a Jew, the chances are very high that you live either in Israel or in the USA. Around 80 percent of all Jews in the world live in these two states, each with around 6 million members.
In Israel, too, 81 percent of the population see themselves as Jews - in a religiously divided society. 19 percent of the population of Israel are Muslims and Druze or belong to other smaller religious communities.
Although there is a great bond between the Jews in the USA and Israel on the one hand, there are, on the other hand, great differences in perceptions and customs.
When asked where they see the biggest, longer-term problems, the Jews in Israel answer - given the high cost of living and the shortage of housing in Tel Aviv and other cities - that these are economic issues, while the Jews in the US have no access to them.
You see, with a large majority (66 percent) the problems for Israel in security issues and terrorism, which the Jews in Israel also see as a problem, but equally important (38 percent) to the economic problems.
Even on the politically most controversial question of a two-state solution and the coexistence of Israel and an independent Palestine, the Jews in the USA believe with a large majority (61 percent) that such a peaceful coexistence is possible, while only less than half (43 percent) of Israel's Jews agree. The Jews of Israel are divided into two camps: just as many who consider the two-state solution to be possible (43 percent), 42 percent believe that the Jewish settlements in the West Bank are good for the security of Israel .
In contrast, half of Jews in the United States believe that the United States would support Israel too little - but that would be more support in the direction of a two-state solution - while only a third of Jews in Israel lack support from the USA perceive.
This difference in point of view and evaluation is combined with the differences in a political left-right classification, in which only 8 percent of Jews in Israel classify themselves as “left”, while half of Jews in the USA (48 percent) classify themselves assign to the corresponding "Liberal".
These different points of view and classifications are also reflected in the daily observance of Jewish religious laws, which the Jews in the USA handle much more liberally than in Israel itself.
The biggest difference is between following a kosher diet (63 vs. 22 percent), which corresponds to the fact that the majority of Jews in the US (16 vs. 57 percent) state that they eat pork. Religion is only very important in life for the respective minorities (30 vs. 26), which corresponds to how often synagogues are visited (27 vs. 11).
The assessment that the Jews in the USA - according to US-American classifications - are more likely to be seen as liberal democrats and the Jews in Israel more as conservative Republicans, corresponds in the USA to the fact that of the 20 Jewish members of the newly convened Congress, two Republicans are and 18 for the Democrats.
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