Most U.S. Jews support war against Iraq, poll shows

The AJCommittee also found:

*Seventy-eight percent believed Americans will have to surrender some personal freedoms to make America safe from terrorism.

*Eighty-six percent supported expanding spying on groups under suspicion.

*Sixty-five percent favored greater camera surveillance on streets and public places.

*Sixty-seven percent favored a national I.D. system for U.S. citizens.

Still, 62 percent rejected racial or religious profiling. Only 35 percent favored such law enforcement methods.

In the survey, more than half of Jews favor war with Iraq, although 62 percent fear it would increase the risk of terrorism against the United States and 56 percent said it would likely blow up into a wider Mideast war.

People feel "the threat of terror is real, yet that you can't turn the other cheek to terror and to Saddam," said Steven Bayme, the AJCommittee's national director of contemporary Jewish life.

Jewish hopes for an Israeli-Palestinian peace have continued to erode, reflecting a downward slide AJCommittee polls have tracked since the second Palestinian intifada erupted in September 2000.

Asked about their hopes for peace, 49 percent said they were less optimistic than one year ago — up from 42 percent in 2001.

Distrust of Arab intentions is also growing. When asked if the "Arabs" want Israel's destruction rather than the return of the West Bank and Gaza, 82 percent agreed and only 15 percent disagreed.

One year earlier, 73 percent agreed with that statement and 23 percent disagreed.

Despite those rising concerns, 49 percent of U.S. Jews favored the creation of a Palestinian state. Approximately 47 percent opposed one, though 98 percent felt Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat is not doing enough to stop terrorism.