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January 14, 2015 11:42 am

New Poll Reveals Widespread Antisemitism in UK Society, 84 Percent of British Jews Regard Anti-Israel Boycotts as ‘Intimidation’

avatar by Ben Cohen

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British Jews demonstrating in solidarity with Israel: 84 percent regard boycotts of Israel as "intimidation," according to a new poll. Photo: Twittertts

A new opinion poll released by the UK-based Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) has revealed worrying levels of prejudice in British society towards the Jewish community, demonstrating as well that an overwhelming majority of British Jews regard the public debate about Israel as stained by antisemitic beliefs and expressions.

The 2015 Annual Antisemitism Barometer discovered that 45 percent of respondents believed to be true at least one of several antisemitic statements shown to them. A full 17 percent believed three or more antisemitic statements – among them the claims that “Jews chase money more than other British people,” “Jews loyalty to Israel makes them less loyal to Britain than other British people” and “Jews talk about the Holocaust too much in order to get sympathy” – to be true.

The poll was carried out for the CAA by YouGov, which posed the statements to a nationally representative sample of 3,411 adults.

The findings showed that Britain was at a “tipping point,” the CAA said. “Unless antisemitism is met with zero tolerance, it will continue to grow and British Jews may increasingly question their place in their own country,” the report, issued a few days after the murderous antisemitic attack at a kosher supermarket in Paris, warned starkly.

The poll also surveyed Jewish responses to antisemitism, through a sample of 2,230 British Jews covering a spectrum of opinion from the anti-Zionist “Jews for Justice for Palestinians” to the mainstream United Synagogue movement, as well as other denominations like the Reform and Spanish & Portuguese congregations.

A full 45 percent of Jewish respondents agreed with the statement, “I am concerned that Jews may not have a long-term future in Britain.” When asked about the long-term future in Europe, 58 percent believed that there wasn’t one.

Arguably even more significant, though, are Jewish perceptions of antisemitism in public debate and activism around the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel. A huge 84 percent of respondents said that boycotts of businesses selling Israeli products constituted “intimidation.” 82 percent agreed with the statement that “Media bias against Israel fuels persecution of Jews in Britain.” And 77 percent said that they had “witnessed antisemitism that was disguised as a political comment about Israel.”

Jonathan Sacerdoti, the CAA’s Communication Director, told The Algemeiner that he was “surprised by those figures,” especially as such a wide range of Jewish views had been sampled.

Sacerdoti noted that “often people are told that it’s the other way around – that Jews silence criticism of Israel by invoking antisemitism.” What the CAA survey demonstrated, he explained, is that “there are people who use a legitimate debate about Israel to prevent Jews from speaking out when they feel they have been the victims of antisemitism.”

The CAA poll also showed that fear of Islamist terrorism is not confined to the Jewish community in France: 65 percent of British Jews agreed with the statement that, “My family and I are threatened by Islamic extremism in Britain.”

“France is further along the scale than we are, and there is a larger exodus of Jews from France,” Sacerdoti said. “Jews in Britain are keeping a close eye on the rest of Europe, to remain aware of any shift towards the French direction over here. However, there’s time for us to turn the tide: That requires the coming together of all parts of British society to make clear that Britain is a tolerant and safe place for Jewish people and Jewish life.”

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  • edward bowman

    Someone should investigate the role of the BBC in fostering anti semitism and massive bias against israel over many years. The BBC in its arrogance refused to publish the Balan report abut bias in the BBC

  • On another site, covering the same research, it was suggested there had been a massive increase in UK anti-Semitism between April and October 2014, without mentioning the war in Gaza which was a major factor. It’s also unclear whether the 17% who believe various anti-Semitic stereotypes are mostly the same 17% for each stereotype or a total of 45% of Brits as this article suggests. It would be better to give a % for each statement. Were these questions asked during the heightened tensions of the war in Gaza, when feelings were magnified?

  • Eric R.

    If Jews stay in the UK, the Pakis will massacre them.

    This is the great tipping point for the “Grand Alliance” that will soon break it.

    Americans (not the Islamonazis in the White House and MSM, but mainstream Americans) are pro-Israel. Limeys – both the elites and the mainstream – are pro 2nd Shoah.

  • Ayatollah Ghilmeini

    The environmentalists of Europe have found the one species they are OK with extinction- homo hebriacus europus, extinction efforts in 1160, 1492, 1680 and 1939 nearly killed off the species while the advent of large numbers of the species of islamicus radicalis is violently incompatible with the hebriacus.

    • nomalas sivad

      What are you trying to say???