As negotiators in Vienna attempt to come to an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, a recent poll shows that more than two-thirds of American Jews support restoring the JCPOA nuclear agreement.
The poll, released on April 13 by the Jewish Electorate Institute, asked 800 self-identified American Jews their opinions on a wide range of political topics, including the Iran nuclear deal. According to the poll, 68% of respondents said they supported reentering the nuclear agreement.
This latest polling tracks with past American Jewish sentiments about the JCPOA. In October 2021, a J Street poll found that 69% supported restoring the nuclear deal, while just a small minority (5%) supported direct military action against Iran.
Back in 2015 when the JCPOA was first negotiated, pundits pointed out that the Jewish community was more supportive of the agreement than the general public. A poll at that time indicated a majority of American Jews wanted Congress to approve the agreement.
Since 2015, anti-deal hawks have frequently misrepresented American Jewish public opinion and sought to use the community as a cudgel against the prospects of diplomacy with Iran. More right-wing pro-Israel organizaitons such as AIPAC and the Republican Jewish Coalition, applauded President Trump’s decision to unilaterally withdraw from the deal in 2018.
However, several Israeli security experts have openly admonished Trump’s abandonment of the deal and preferred diplomacy with Iran. Tamir Pardo, former Director of Mossad, said withdrawing from the JCPOA a “tragedy” and a “strategic mistake,” while former Prime Minister Ehud Barak called the decision “delusional.” In January, IDF’s current intelligence chief, Maj.-Gen. Aharon Haliva, reportedly told the Israeli cabinet that a nuclear agreement with Iran is preferable to no deal at all.
“This poll is just further evidence that the American Jewish community is overwhelmingly supportive of diplomacy to block Iran from developing a nuclear weapon,” Logan Bayroff, Vice President of Communications for J Street said. “Since 2015, the Iran deal has only become more popular as its success has been documented, and the total failure of Trump’s unilateral withdrawal has become clear. Leaders in DC should note that when it comes to Jewish voters, restoring the agreement is not only good policy, but also good politics.”
The poll also found that while American Jews strongly support diplomacy, American policy toward Iran was in general not a top priority voting issue. Just 3% of respondents said that Iran was amongst their top two policy concerns.