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Thursday, August 27, 2015 

Pew polling finds Haredis less favorable to Israel, yet many still support Republicans

The Pew Center made some odd discoveries about Haredis in the USA:
The findings are based on data from Pew’s 2013 study of U.S. Jews, breaking it up between Haredi and modern-Orthodox – About 62 percent identify as Haredi (Hasidic or non-Hasidic) and 31 percent identify as modern Orthodox.

According to the survey, 57% of Orthodox Jews, including 58 percent of Haredim, said they identified with or leaned toward the Republican Party, while just 18% of non-Orthodox Jews identified with or leaned toward the GOP. Orthodox Jews are also attached to the more conservative-minded segment of the Republican Party, as 58% say they would prefer a smaller government that provides fewer services over a bigger government providing more services.

As far as Republican candidates and lawmakers expressing a more vocal and hawkish pro-Israel stance, the poll finds that 61% of Orthodox Jews say they are “very emotionally attached” to Israel. But there are significant differences between Modern Orthodox Jews and Haredi Jews in displaying strong attachment to Israel. While 77% of modern Orthodox Jews say they are very emotionally attached to Israel, only 55% of Haredim say the same. Additionally, Haredim are less likely to say that caring about Israel is essential to being Jewish (45% vs. 79% of modern Orthodox) and that the U.S. is not supportive enough of Israel (48 vs. 64%); and 73% of Modern Orthodox Jews think that the Israeli government was making a sincere effort to reach a peace settlement, compared with 53% of Haredi Jews who said the same.

The stark differences can be found in the demographics of the Haredi community, as a large chunk of Hasidic households are affiliated with the Satmar community in Brooklyn and Kiryas Joel.

Interestingly enough, when it comes to their attitude towards president Barack Obama, Modern Orthodox and Haredi Jews equally disapprove Obama’s performance as president (57% vs. 54%).

What is most surprising is the fact that an overwhelming majority of Haredi Jews (89%) live in the Northeast region of the country, including New York and New Jersey, mostly represented by Democrats and heavily rated as blue states in national elections.
If this has any validity, it sure is odd. Many Haredi communities, as I've learned over the years, support socialist welfare lifestyles, particularly the Satmar. So if they support Republican candidates, that's pretty strange, although some conservative politicians can be very corrupt too, and greedy for votes. Come to think of it, if socialist-leaning Haredis support Republicans, that's actually rather embarrassing, because it all conflicts with what the GOP is supposed to stand for, and honestly, the GOP as a whole shouldn't kowtow to a community that's running an unproductive lifestyle at the expense of the taxpayers.

If I notice correctly, the percentage of Haredis disapproving of Obama's work is a bit less than that of non-Haredis, which suggests they're not quite the realists they ought to be on that issue. It's all an interesting study that does provide something to think about.

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