The vast majority of Britain’s Jews have no intention of packing their bags despite rising concern about safety after the Paris attacks, according to an authoritative new poll for the JC.
Almost nine out of 10 – 88 per cent - say that they have not considered quitting the UK since last week’s atrocities, compared to just 11 per cent who have thought of leaving.
Among 18-34 year olds, however, the percentage of those who say they have considered leaving jumps to over 17 per cent.
Considering overall safety in the wake of the murders in Paris, nearly a third report feeling “much more concerned”.
When asked about their personal safety, three-quarters still feel secure – over three times more than those who do not.
Seventeen per cent feel “very safe and 58 per cent “quite safe”, compared to 19 per cent who feel “quite unsafe” and only three per cent “very unsafe”. The remaining three per cent are undecided.
The poll was carried out for the JC by Survation, with a representative sample of more than 500 from Britain’s Jewish population.
This is the first ever reliable poll of Britain’s Jewish community and marks a breakthrough in the ability to gauge its opinions.
Asked whether life in Britain is getting better or worse for Jews in Britain, nearly half – 45 per cent - say that it is “about the same”. But those who think it has deteriorated are considerably more than those who believe life has improved.
Thirty-four per cent feel it has got “slightly worse” and nine per cent “much worse”. Just two per cent think it has got “much better” and eight per cent “slightly better”.
Events in Paris have clearly had an impact, with 32 per cent feeling “much more concerned” about their safety as a result, and 41 per cent “slightly more concerned”; 27 per cent say they have made no difference.
Over the past few days, police, political leaders and community organisations have sought to give reassurance about security measures put in place. The police mounted additional patrols in high areas of Jewish population in London and Manchester last Shabbat.
The findings of the Survation poll contrast with figures from an online questionnaire carried out by the Campaign Against Antisemitism, which reported this week that one in four British Jews had considered leaving the country in the past two years because of antisemitism and that 45 per cent were concerned that Jews may have no long-term future here.
But the reliability of the CAA data has been questioned. Social scientist Dr Keith Kahn-Harris said that it was “methodologically invalid. There can be no confidence in its representativeness”.
In a separate poll conducted by YouGov for the CAA, 45 per cent of British people believed at least of one six negative statements about Jews presented to them. One in five of the 3,400 who were questioned thought that loyalty to Israel made Jews less loyal to Britain than other Britons.
In the largest survey of European Jewry on antisemitism – carried out by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research for the European Union and published last year – 18 per cent of British Jews said they had thought of leaving over the previous five years because of safety concerns (a further one per cent said they had emigrated but returned).
The questions we asked - and the answers
Thinking about personal safety, how safe or unsafe do you feel as a Jewish person in Britain?
Very safe 17%
Quite safe 58%
Quite unsafe 19%
Very unsafe 3%
Don’t know 3%
Total safe - 75%
Total unsafe - 22%
Do you feel life in general is getting better or worse for Jewish people in Britain, or is “about the same”?
Much better 2%
Slightly better 8%
About the same 45%
Slightly worse 34%
Much worse 9%
Don’t know 3%
Total better - 10%
Total worse - 43%
Have last week’s events in Paris made you more concerned about your safety in Britain or have they made no difference?
Much more concerned 32%
Slightly more concerned 41%
Made no difference 27%
Don’t know 1%
Have last week’s events in Paris made you consider leaving Britain?
Yes I have considered leaving 11%
No I have not considered leaving 88%
Don’t know 1%