A poll released Thursday by the Jewish Electorate Institute (JEI) showed that 68% of American Jews support returning to the JCPOA, the Obama-negotiated Iran nuclear agreement that blocked Iran’s path to nuclear weapons.
The results track with previous polling, which has consistently shown American Jewish support for diplomacy with Iran.
“Once again, we see clear evidence that the American Jewish community is overwhelmingly supportive of diplomacy to block Iran from developing a nuclear weapon,” said Dylan Williams, Senior Vice President of Policy and Strategy at J Street. “The initial success of the JCPOA and the total failure of Trump’s unilateral withdrawal have only made the deal more popular as time goes on. Leaders in DC should know that when it comes to Jewish voters, restoring the JCPOA is both good policy and good politics.”
In 2015, hawks attempted to misrepresent and use the American Jewish community as a cudgel in an effort to shoot down the deal. More recently, right-wing pro-Israel organizations such as AIPAC have ramped up their attacks against returning to the agreement.
However, several Israeli security experts have openly admonished Trump’s abandonment of the deal and, like the supermajority of Jewish Americans, made clear their preference for diplomacy with Iran. Gadi Eisenkot, Former IDF Chief of Staff and current candidate for the Knesset, called the US withdrawal “a severe mistake.” Yair Golan, Former Deputy IDF Chief of Staff and current Member of Knesset, has said a return to the JCPOA is “critical to Israel’s national security.”
JEI’s poll is consistent with recent surveys of Americans that show overwhelming support for reviving the Iran nuclear agreement. Earlier this month, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs found that 6 in 10 Americans – including a majority of Independents – supported restoring the deal. A separate poll conducted by Data for Progress showed that voters were more likely to back a candidate who supported the agreement.
The poll’s results stand as a strong rebuke against hawks who have tried to paint the deal as counter to American interests. Just this past week, United Against Nuclear Iran – a group solely dedicated to sabotaging efforts to restore the JCPOA – released a potentially dubious poll that purported to show widespread opposition to reviving the deal. Yet, the poll appeared riddled with inconsistencies and the group refused to publicize the questions it provided respondents.
“For opponents of the deal, this is the playbook: deceive, deceive, deceive,” said Jessica Sarstedt, Vice President at West End Strategy. “They know the facts aren’t on their side, so instead they peddle misinformation. Supporters of the JCPOA need to continue to call out these lies and show the public the truth. JEI’s most recent poll does just that.”
JEI’s poll comes at a time when negotiations have hit a snag focused on the status of an International Atomic Energy Agency investigation into past Iranian nuclear activity. Despite the complication, a senior Biden administration official said the US remains “interested in seeing whether we can reach a deal.”