Though it’s often asked if some anti-Israel positions (such as support for BDS) are inherently antisemitic, it always seemed to us more relevant to determine whether the people holding such anti-Israel views also hold explicitly antisemitic views. In other words: what is the correlation between antisemitic and anti-Israel attitudes in the UK?
Whilst there have been recent efforts to answer this question as it relates to the members of one specific anti-Israel group, CST and the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) have produced a major study on antisemitism in Great Britain, including “the first robust empirical documentation” on the link between antisemitic and anti-Israel attitudes in the country as a whole.
The report demonstrates a dramatic disparity between the percentage of the general population who hold antisemitic views and the percentage of those with strong anti-Israel views who hold antisemitic views.
In short, we find that, in the population as a whole, there is a three in ten chance that an individual selected at random would hold some level of antisemitic sentiment. Among those who hold no antipathy towards Israel, that would drop to just over one in ten. However, among those holding the strongest level of anti-Israel views…that possibility climbs to over seven in ten.
To cite one example of this stark disparity, whilst only 8% of the general population in the UK agree with the statement “Jews have too much power in Britain”, the number jumps to 41% among those with strong anti-Israel attitudes. Additionally, whilst 4% of the general population believe the Holocaust has been “exaggerated”, the number rises to 23% among those who hold strongly anti-Israel views.
This graph illustrates the rest of the results.
As much as anti-Israel activists – and their allies in the media, NGOs and Parliament – like to deny it, this new report by CST and JPR persuasively demonstrates what most Jews in the UK know intuitively: that there is in fact a strong correlation between the obsessive criticism of Israel and hostility towards Jews.