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November 4, 2016 5:04 pm

Number of Britons Who Oppose Boycotting Israel Rises by 8 Percent, New Poll Finds

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Opposition to the BDS movement is on the rise in Great Britain, according to a new poll. Photo: Takver via Wikimedia Commons.

Opposition to the BDS movement is on the rise in Great Britain, according to a new poll. Photo: Takver via Wikimedia Commons.

Opposition to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is growing in Great Britain, according to the results of a new survey published on Friday.

The Populus poll — commissioned by the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) — found that 51% of Britons agreed with the statement, “I do not boycott goods or produce from Israel and find it difficult to see why others would single out Israel to boycott given everything else that’s going on in the world,” up 8% from last year. Only 12% of respondents disagreed with the statement.

Furthermore, according to the poll, 56% of Britons believe a boycott of the Jewish state would hurt both Israelis and Palestinians, up 9% from last year.

Asked whether Israel was a British ally, 57% of respondents replied affirmatively — a 5% rise from last year — while 19% said no.

Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the issuing of the Balfour Declaration, in which the UK announced its support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” 43% of survey respondents said that this had been the right position for the British government to take in 1917, while 18% disagreed.

Also, the poll found that 48% of Britons thought “hating Israel and questioning its right to exist is antisemitic,” while 28% disagreed.

“Our poll shows a very significant shift against the idea of boycotting Israel,” BICOM CEO James Sorene said. “The British sense of fair play is a clear theme in the poll as time and again respondents reject singling out Israel, given everything else going on in the world.”

“In a year where we have seen several public figures attempt to explain their hatred of Israel as a political position, the judgment of the British people is stark,” he continued. “They clearly understand that hating Israel and questioning its right to exist is antisemitism, pure and simple.”

Board of Deputies of British Jews President Jonathan Arkush said Britons “have seen through the sour and destructive pro-Palestinian lobby.”

Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev stated the poll results “affirm the strong ties between our two countries. It is encouraging that, more than ever, Britons view Israel as their strongest ally in the region. Equally important, most people correctly believe that demonization of Israel is, in fact, antisemitic, and must not be tolerated.”

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  • YJ Draiman

    WWII indiscriminate bombing – The End Justify the means – Double Standard.
    The British and Americans had experienced war as an all-or-nothing proposition. Indeed, if ever there had been an argument for ends justifying means, it was in the Second World War – and it was the United States that had pursued the argument to its most horrifying conclusion. English planes started bombing German cities earlier in the war on a daily basis, in response to German rockets hitting London, joined later by American planes that firebombed German and Japanese cities and killed tens of thousands of civilians, literally burning and suffocating them to death. Dwight Eisenhower’s predecessor, Harry Truman, approved the use of atomic bombs on two large Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing hundreds of thousands more civilians. Winning the war had trumped every other moral consideration. Next to Dresden and Hiroshima, what was the assassination of a single man in foreign countries, or even three, if it might prevent the menace of communism from threatening the U.S. homeland? Further more, what was the American response to the Bay of Pigs, when Russian missiles were installed in Cuba – 90 miles from Florida, but never fired which almost started nuclear WWIII?

    Israel’s response to rockets and acts of terror from killing its people
    Israel uses target bombing to eradicate terrorists and their depots of ammunitions and rocket launchers. Unfortunately the terrorists use civilians as shields, but there is no intent by Israel to harm civilians, it is a collateral damage. It is the responsibility and obligation of the Israeli government to protect its people al all costs with zero tolerance, no matter world outcry that are mostly anti-Semitic, as history has demonstrated over and over again.

    Fighting terrorism is not unlike fighting a deadly cancer. It can not be treated just where it is visible – every diseased cell in the body must be destroyed leaving no traces.

    When a poison strikes the human body, the only way to address it, is to remove it and destroy it completely. That is the way the terrorist organizations and its people should be treated.
    YJ Draiman

  • Joseph Feld

    When BDS people single out Israel let us remind them that among the Arab Muslim states surrounding Israel people can be beheaded, amputated, stoned, suffer female genital mutilation, honour killing, up to 1,000 or even 2,000 lashes for criticising a Muslim govt, can be subject of a fatwa allowing any Muslim to execute the person. There are captured sex slaves, male as well as female, gays hanging from cranes, women prohibited from driving or going out of the house without a male family member. Women can be punished for being raped and Muslim women with uncovered hair can be raped, girls in primary / elementary school can be married to men old enough to be their grandfathers, people can be burnt alive. What do the BDS supporters say about this? Should the entire Islamic world be boycotted, divested and sanctioned? If not then why not?

  • Unfortunately many Jews do still not realize, that the anti-Semitic BDS-Movement is actively supported by “Jewish” and Israeli NGOs. Among them, the “new Israel fund”, NIF (Notorious:Infame:Fiendish), Btselem, Breaking the Silence, Who Profits, Jews for Peace, JStreet, JCall and the JVJP.
    These supporters of the BDS-Movement and its news addition, the Apartheid-Libel, must be outlawed,
    Boycott the boycotters!.

  • Victoria poupko

    Deer readers, our only chance to kill BDS is to make Trump president. He is absolutely against BDS and very friendly and even close to Israel. No 8% or 28% will change anything. It should be done on the Gov.t level. So, all American Jews should vote Trump. His – highly amplified by Dems- bad opinions about women have no impact on inner or foreign policy of America. Please in the sake of Israel, vote for Trump