JERUSALEM—Last month, Jews in the U.S., Israel and around the world celebrated the biblical feast of Purim, remembering how in ancient times the God of Israel saved the Jewish people from imminent annihilation by a wicked Persian ruler.
Today, the results of a new poll reveal deep anxiety among both American Jews and Christians – and among all Americans – that the leaders of Iran, modern day Persia, are actively plotting a “Second Holocaust” to annihilate the Jewish people in Israel if Tehran can build, buy or steal nuclear weapons.
The poll also finds that most Americans, regardless of their religious backgrounds, are deeply skeptical that efforts of U.S. President Joe Biden and his team to negotiate a new nuclear deal with Iran will actually make the world safer.
Many fear that such a deal could actually make the situation worse, by removing economic sanctions on Tehran, thus flooding Iranian coffers with hundreds of billions of dollars in new oil money, some of which could be used to build nuclear weapons and arm terrorist proxy forces throughout the Middle East.
The poll was commissioned by The Joshua Fund, a non-profit Christian organization that my wife, Lynn, and I launched in 2006 to educate and mobilize Christians “to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus,” according to the Abrahamic Covenant found in Genesis 12:1-3.
It was conducted by McLaughlin & Associates. This nationally known and widely respected polling firm has performed scientific opinion surveys over the years for corporations, non-profit organizations, Members of Congress, American presidents, and foreign leaders, including in the State of Israel. Taken between March 17 and 22, 2022, the poll asked questions of 1,000 Americans ages 18 and over. It has a 3.1% margin of error, plus or minus, at a 95% confidence interval.
Both The Joshua Fund and ALL ISRAEL NEWS are nonprofit and, thus, non-partisan organizations. The poll was not taken to lobby American or Israeli lawmakers – or any others – on political or public policy matters, but to better understand the views of the American people and how best to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” as believers are commanded in Psalm 122:6.
In the coming days, ALL ISRAEL NEWS will report on more aspects of the survey results.
Today, I want to focus on two key topics we explored.
The first question sought to measure American confidence in U.S. and international diplomatic efforts to prevent the Iranian regime from building nuclear weapons.
The second question sought to measure what Americans think the Iranian regime will do with nuclear weapons if diplomacy fails and Tehran acquires The Bomb.
WHAT DO AMERICANS BELIEVE ABOUT A POSSIBLE NEW IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL?
Here is the precise wording of the first of these two questions:
“Do you believe that the new nuclear deal that the international community is negotiating with the leaders of Iran will make the world safer, or more dangerous?”
Respondents were able to give one of three answers:
Yes, I believe that a new Iran nuclear deal will make the world safer by truly preventing Iran from building nuclear weapons.
No, I believe that the new Iran nuclear deal will make the world more dangerous by lifting economic sanctions, giving Iran’s government enormous new oil revenues, and making it easier for Iran to fund – and hide – its efforts to build nuclear weapons.
I don’t know.
Though a new deal has not yet been finalized, the poll found that Americans are profoundly skeptical that diplomacy will stop the Iranian regime from building The Bomb.
In fact, a plurality believes that such a deal will make the situation more dangerous.
Less than one-third of Americans (31.3%) believe that a new nuclear deal “will make the world safer by truly preventing Iran from building nuclear weapons.”
Nearly half of Americans (47.4%) believe that a new nuclear deal “will make the world more dangerous by lifting economic sanctions, giving Iran’s government enormous new oil revenues, and making it easier for Iran to fund – and hide – its efforts to build nuclear weapons.”
One in five Americans (21.3%) said they don’t know.
Let’s dive deeper into the data, looking specifically at those who believe that a new deal with Iran will make the world more dangerous.
24.2% of atheists believe a new deal will make the world more dangerous, as do…
47.8% of agnostics
12.1% of self-identified “secular” Americans
41.3% of Jews
48.7% of Catholics
51.9% of all Protestants
55.3% of Evangelical born-again Christians
32.3% of Hispanic Americans
32.7% of African Americans
53.1% of Whites
64.0% of Asian Americans
40.6% of Americans who live in the East
53.2% of Americans who live in the Midwest
46.9% of Americans who live in the South
48.2% of Americans who live in the West
30.6% of young people, ages 18 to 29
43.8% of people ages 30 to 40
51.0% of people ages 41 to 55
58.0% of people ages 56 to 65
49.4% of people over 65
49.8% of men
45.2% of women
BY POLITICAL AFFILIATION
67.6% of Republicans
28.2% of Democrats
47.0% of Independents
65.9% of Americans who voted for Trump in 2020
30.5% of Americans who voted for Biden in 2020
DOES A NUCLEAR WEAPONS-ARMED IRAN POSE A SERIOUS THREAT TO ISRAEL?
We wanted to measure what Americans think the Iranian regime will do with nuclear weapons if diplomacy fails and Tehran acquires The Bomb.
Thus, we asked:
“If the Iranian regime is ever able to build an arsenal of fully operational nuclear weapons, do you believe such weapons will pose a threat to the 6 million Jews who live in Israel?”
Respondents were able to give one of three answers:
Yes, I believe the Iranian regime wants to use nuclear weapons to carry out their repeated threats to “wipe Israel off the map” and bring about a Second Holocaust.
No, I don’t believe a nuclear armed Iran poses a real threat to Israel.
The results were clear: Americans overwhelmingly fear that the Iranian regime seeks to destroy Israel and bring about a Second Holocaust.
Fully two out of three Americans (67.6%) said they believe “the Iranian regime wants to use nuclear weapons to carry out their repeated threats to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ and bring about a Second Holocaust.”
Only 12.5% said, “No, I don’t believe a nuclear armed Iran poses a real threat to Israel.”
One in five Americans (19.9%) said they don’t know.
We found widespread agreement across religions, races, regions, and other categories that Iran is an existential threat to the State of Israel.
Indeed, 80% of American Jews believe the Iranian regime wants to carry out a Second Holocaust by destroying the 6 million Jews in Israel. (According to the most recent data, there are now 7 million Jews in Israel, 2 million Arabs and another .4 million other citizens.)
Some 77% of Evangelical Christians also believe this.
Let’s take a deeper look at the data regarding those Americans who believe Tehran is intent on Israel's destruction.
49.7% of atheists believe Iran’s regime wants to destroy Israel, and so do…
59.3% of agnostics
40.1% of self-identified “secular” Americans
80.0% of Jews
71.2% of Catholics
74.9% of all Protestants
77.1% of Evangelical born-again Christians
53.8% of Hispanic Americans
59.1% of African Americans
73.0% of Whites
37.8% of Asian Americans
67.2% of Americans who live in the East
71.0% of Americans who live in the Midwest
75.7% of Americans who live in the South
64.4% of Americans who live in the West
49.5% of young people, ages 18 to 29
62.7% of people ages 30 to 40
66.7% of people ages 41 to 55
77.2% of people ages 56 to 65
77.2% of people over 65
74.9% of men
60.7% of women
BY POLITICAL AFFILIATION
79.1% of Republicans
57.0% of Democrats
66.7% of Independents
78.3% of Americans who voted for Trump in 2020
58.0% of Americans who voted for Biden in 2020
Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.