Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Israel attitudes survey: Most are happy to be Zionists

    Co-author David Graham and (right) Trevor Pears, who commissioned the survey
    Co-author David Graham and (right) Trevor Pears, who commissioned the survey

    British Jews display a "great attachment" to Israel, with a mere five per cent believing it irrelevant to their Jewish identity, according to the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) report published this week.

    The strong place that Israel retains in Anglo-Jewish hearts is evident from the fact that 29 per cent say it is central to their identity; 53 per cent, that it is "important but not central"; and 13 per cent that it plays "a small part".

    An overwhelming majority, 95 per cent, have visited Israel at least once, compared to 78 per cent who has done so in 1995.

    More than one in five (22 per cent) think it "very" or "fairly likely" that they will settle in Israel, with those who are religious or under 40 more ready to consider aliyah. Twenty percent of respondents to the survey have lived there at some stage.

    Just over half, 53 per cent, think that diaspora Jews have a right to judge Israel, compared with 45 per cent who think they do not have the right since they do not live there.

    But there is broader support for expressing public criticism of Israel: 35 per cent say that Jews should always feel free to criticise Israel in the British media when they feel it justified, and another 38 per cent believe that it is acceptable "in some circumstances", compared with a quarter who think that Jews should hold their tongue.

    While 72 per cent are happy to say they are Zionists, only 21 per cent say they are not.

    But the report's authors note: "Many of those who define themselves as non-Zionist are using the term to mark their disagreement with contemporary Israeli government policy, rather than to signal a lack of support for the concept of Israel as an expression of Jewish nationhood."

    Almost half of British Jews - 48 per cent - believe that the land of Israel is "God-given".

    How the poll was conducted

    The online poll, taken in January and February, attracted 4,081 answers, the "largest sample" ever taken among British Jews, according to JPR. Polling experts Ipsos-Mori managed the data collection. JPR is confident that the results are "likely to be close to the true percentages in the Jewish population as a whole".

    Initially, Liberal, Masorti and Reform Jews were over-represented, as well as the more highly educated; central and strictly Orthodox Jews were under-represented. But the results were then adjusted in line with the religious profile of the community, based on other sources.

UK News

Strictly Orthodox Ukip candidate 'should not run for office'

Marcus Dysch

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Strictly Orthodox Ukip candidate 'should not run for office'
Special Reports

Dublin benefits from overseas aid

Barry Toberman

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Dublin benefits from overseas aid
UK News

Luciana Berger troll driven by 'fierce antisemitism'

JC Reporter

Monday, December 5, 2016

Luciana Berger troll driven by 'fierce antisemitism'
UK News

Government drops pledge to aid 3,000 child refugees

Rosa Doherty

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Government drops pledge to aid 3,000 child refugees
UK News

Limmud: Food for thought at session on 'ethical eating'

By Simon Rocker

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Limmud: Food for thought at session on 'ethical eating'
UK News

Local MP blocks visit from David Irving's 'secret tour'

Rosa Doherty

Friday, December 2, 2016

Local MP blocks visit from David Irving's 'secret tour'
UK News

Anti-Israel conference faces delay

Lee Harpin

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Anti-Israel conference faces delay
UK News

Commission criticised over inquiry into 'antisemitic' charity

Daniel Sugarman

Monday, December 5, 2016

Commission criticised over inquiry into 'antisemitic' charity
UK News

Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs dies aged 86

JC Reporter

Friday, December 2, 2016

Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs dies aged 86