Brits say no to BDS
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Barely a week goes by without some triumphant claim from the anti-Israel campaigners who push for a boycott. And most weeks indeed bring news of an artist or organisation having announced that it will not visit Israel, or a British organisation that is debating severing ties.
But, taken as a whole, and in the context of the huge - and ever growing - links between Britain (and Britons) and Israel, these so-called triumphs are paltry. As our poll this week shows, the idea of a cultural boycott - the biggest push by Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaigners, because it is relatively easy to engineer - is overwhelmingly rejected by the British public.
Three quarters either actively support the idea of British artists visiting Israel to perform, or have no view on the matter; and for invitations to Israeli artists to visit Britain, the figure is over 80 per cent. The truth of the matter is that the BDS campaigners' obsessive hatred of Israel is rejected by the overwhelming majority of ordinary, decent Brits, who have no truck with such racist singling-out of the Jewish state for attack. As we start a new year, this is a welcome reminder that, for all that there are battles to fight and inevitable losses to come, things are not as bad as they sometimes seem.