A new study finds that Jews, as a whole, are significantly less likely than other Americans to say the United States is “under attack” by international terrorists, despite the fact that Israel is the largest and most powerful country on earth.
The study, conducted by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center and conducted from July 15 to Aug. 15, also finds that a large majority of Jews — 61 percent — said they believe that the Jewish people are being attacked by other nations, including by the Islamic State, while an equally large majority — 67 percent — believed that the United Nations is under attack.
A plurality — 44 percent — of Jews believe that Muslims are being threatened by other Muslims.
Pew researchers found that Jewish Americans, who comprise about two-thirds of the population, are more likely than the general population to say that Israel’s military actions against Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups are justified.
In contrast, the public is more likely to say Israel is not defending itself against terrorism.
Only a minority of Jews and the public overall say that the Palestinian Authority, which is headed by Hamas, is doing enough to protect the Palestinian people, the study found.
“Jews and the broader public generally believe the United State is not under attack by other countries,” said Shira Schechter, director of the Pew Research Project on Religion & Public Life.
“Yet, we also find that there are significant differences in beliefs about whether the U.S. is under threat from international terrorism.”
Pesco said the findings suggest that the American public has a mixed understanding of the nature of international terrorism.
“These results are not surprising given that there is a lot of disagreement over whether it is legitimate or not,” he said.
“The public, in particular, has not been able to clearly define the nature and scope of international terror.
It is unclear why this is.”
The Pew study comes on the heels of an attack in Paris that killed 129 people, including 19 children, and a shooting spree in Munich that killed 12 people.
On Monday, a gunman opened fire at a packed kosher grocery store in the German city of Hannover, killing 12 people and wounding 17.
The gunman was also killed in a shootout with police.