Israel attitudes survey: There is much that divides us

By Simon Rocker, July 15, 2010

Against the broad swathe of general support for Israel, British Jews diverge often sharply over specific policies.

Those who call themselves Zionist "are not always firm supporters of Israeli government policy", the report says. "It is clear…that one cannot assume that all of those labelling themselves Zionist are hawkish."

Whereas 50 per cent of Jews currently believe that Israeli control of the West Bank is vital for its security, 40 per cent do not.

While 55 per cent agree that Israel is an "occupying power" in the West Bank, 36 per cent dissent from that view.

And whereas 52 per cent think that Israel has little or no choice about the military action it takes, 43 per cent think that it does.

Nearly half, 47 per cent, think most Palestinians want peace, compared with 38 per cent who do not.

While religious Jews tend to show Israel more unqualified support and are more hawkish on security issues, even within this group there are significant splits: 47 per cent back territorial compromise for peace, as against 46 per cent who are opposed.

In general, the more secularly educated Jews are, the more doveish their views. More than half, 56 per cent, of those who responded to the questionnaire think non-Jewish minority groups suffer discrimination in Israel.

And nearly three-quarters, 74 per cent, believe that Orthodox Judaism has too much influence in Israel.

Last updated: 12:50pm, July 15 2010