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Poll: Jews and Non-Jews Differ on Pollard

April 12, 1987

NEW YORK (AP) _ Most American Jews say they think the Jonathan Pollard spy affair and Israel’s role in the Iran arms scandal will increase anti-Semitism in the United States, according to a New York Times-CBS News Poll published Sunday.

Parallel sampling of non-Jews found, however, that few non-Jews were aware of Pollard.

Pollard, a naval intelligence analyst convicted of selling classified documents to Israelis, was sentenced March 4 to life imprisonment.

The survey suggested that the spy affair could hurt Israel’s image in the United States, but it found no significant rise in anti-Semitism.

Thirty-four percent of the Jews said they were angry at Pollard, and 27 percent expressed embarrassment. But 40 percent said Pollard’s sentence was too harsh.

By more than 2-to-1, non-Jewish participants said Israel had not cooperated enough with the American investigation of Iran arms sales.

A substantial share of both Jewish and non-Jewish participants said the Reagan administration had tried to make Isreal a scapegoat in the Iran arms sales scandal.

Jews agreed with the scapegoat theory by a margin of 47 percent to 37 percent. Non-Jews split almost evenly, with 41 percent agreeing and 39 percent disagreeing.

The poll was based on telephone interviews conducted between April 5 and 8 with 1,449 adults around the continental United States.

Participants were separated by heritage, Jewish or non-Jewish. Margin of error for non-Jews was calculated at plus or minus 3 percentage points. Sampling error for Jews was calculated at plus or minus 5 percentage points.

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