The most reliable study of the changing U.S. demographics in the last decade which was issued by the Census Bureau recently didn’t include statistics about the number of Jews among the Americans that were surveyed, since by law the government wasn’t allowed to collect information about their religious affiliation. But in any case, the number of American-Jews isn’t the main demographic factor that is going to determine the long-term direction of the U.S. relationship with Israel.
Indeed, American foreign policy, including the support for Israel, has been driven by European-Christian elites, reflecting the outlook of the Anglo-Protestant founding Fathers. Hence, the Atlantic orientation of U.S. foreign policy which had led to the intervention of the two world wars, to interventions in the Middle East and to sympathy with Israel, was embraced by a world-view shared by leaders stepped in cultural and religious traditions that evolved in the British Isles and the Low Countries and which included a strong attachment to the Bible’s Children of Israel and the Holy Land.
The arrival of new ethnic and religious groups did not transform the contour of U.S. diplomacy—but affected them on the margins. Many Northern European and Irish immigrants and their descendants had opposed U.S. entry into World War I and II while American Catholics and Eastern European ethnics had enthusiastically supported a tough stand against the Communist Bloc during the Cold War.
And lobbies representing supporters of Greece, Armenia, Ireland and, yes, Israel have played a role in shaping U.S. policies but only in the context of a broad American global strategy that enjoyed wide public support. In the case of Israel, both secular liberals and conservative Christians regarded the establishment of Israel as the culmination of an historical epoch that had stretched from Biblical times to the European Holocaust.
But now it seems that descendants of these Euro-Americans are gradually losing their dominant demographic status. Indeed, according to the new census, the pace of diversification in the U.S. over the past decade has been staggering, with the so-called minorities—Blacks, Asians, Hispanics or Latinos—on the road towards becoming the new majority.