New Report From UK Jewish Think Tank Shows Strong Correlation Between Antisemitism and ‘Anti-Israelism’
“Levels of antisemitism” in Britain are among the lowest in the world, a new report from London think-tank the Institute of Jewish Policy Research (JPR) issued on Tuesday has concluded – but those who harbor anti-Israeli views are far more likely to express antisemitism than those who are neutral on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“British Jews constitute a religious and ethnic group that is seen overwhelmingly positively by an absolute majority of the British population,” the report – authored by JPR Senior Research Fellow Daniel Staetsky – observed.
“About 70% of the population of Great Britain have a favorable opinion of Jews and do not entertain any antisemitic ideas or views at all,” the report, entitled “Antisemitism in contemporary Great Britain,” stated. “In this respect, Jews are in a similar position to some other religious minorities, most notably Hindus.”
There is also a great degree of variation among the remaining 30 per cent of Britons who display some form of antisemitic attitude, the report noted.”The 30% figure captures the current level of the diffusion of antisemitic ideas in British society, and offers an indication of the likelihood of British Jews encountering such ideas,” the report said.
While open, hardcore antisemitism is demonstrated by less than 3 per cent of Britons, antisemitic attitudes are more visible among certain sub-groups than others. “The presence of antisemitic and anti-Israel attitudes is 2 to 4 times higher among Muslims compared to the general UK population,” the report observed. “Yet most Muslims (60%) – religious or not – agree with the statement ‘A British Jew is just as British as any other person,’ and most either disagree with, or are neutral on, every one of the antisemitic statements presented to them.”
Critically, the report demonstrates that “the stronger a person’s anti-Israel views, the more likely they are to hold antisemitic attitudes,” noting as well that “all parts of those on the left of the political spectrum – including the ‘slightly left-of-centre,’ the ‘fairly left-wing’ and the ‘very left-wing’ – exhibit higher levels of anti-Israelism than average.”
“In numerical terms, 86% of those who do not hold any anti-Israel attitudes do not hold any antisemitic attitudes either; whereas, among those holding a large number of anti-Israel attitudes, only 26% do not hold any antisemitic attitudes,” the report said. This finding echoes the conclusion of a similar study in 2005 by the academics Charles Small and Edward Kaplan, which revealed that individuals “with extreme anti-Israel sentiment are roughly six times more likely to harbor antisemitic views than those who do not fault Israel.”
At the launch of the report in London last night, Dave Rich of the Community Security Trust, the communal Jewish defense body in the UK, highlighted the findings of the JPR report in the context of the antisemitism scandals that have dogged the opposition Labour Party since it elected the far left parliamentarian Jeremy Corbyn as its leader in 2015.
“The report shows levels of antisemitism on the left are the same as those for society as a whole,” Rich said. “The defense we have heard from some in the Labour Party that because the left is an anti-racist space therefore by definition there can’t be antisemitism – that’s just not true.”
“It is as easy to find there as it is anywhere else,” Rich said.