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Over 70 per cent of British Jews want antisemitic demonstrations banned, survey reveals

An overwhelming majority of British Jews want a ban on peaceful antisemitic demonstrations in Jewish areas, the results of an exclusive JC poll have revealed.

More than 72 per cent of those asked said antisemitic groups should not be allowed to stage protests in Jewish areas.

But the poll also found that when rallies do take place, counter-demonstrations against them would be heavily backed by members of the Jewish community.

Almost 62 per cent of people said they would support an organised response to antisemitic action, with 29 per cent opposing such measures.

British Jews fear Islamist extremists far more than the threat posed by neo-Nazis. Asked which group caused the most concern, 61 per cent said Islamists, and 16 per cent said neo-Nazis. One-in-ten said they did not feel threatened by either group.

The results came a week before far-right extremists plan to hold a protest in Golders Green , north-west London, targeting what they call the “Jewification” of the area.

One in five respondents to the poll said they thought peaceful demonstrations should be allowed to take place.

But opposition was highest in Manchester, where 75 per cent said antisemitic protests should be banned. In London the figure was 68 per cent.

During last summer’s Gaza conflict, the Israeli-owned Kedem store in Manchester city centre was repeatedly besieged by activists and police were forced to use special powers to disperse crowds.

Support for counter-demonstrations was strong across all age groups and geographic locations. There was heavier backing among men – with 68 per cent in support compared to 55 per cent of women – and older Jews expressing a greater likelihood to oppose antisemitic action, with 66 per cent of over-55s saying they would respond, compared to 52 per cent of 18-34-year-olds.

On the issue of Islamist extremism and neo-Nazism, almost two-thirds in every category felt more threatened by jihadists than the far-right.

However Jewish women were less clear on where the greatest challenge was posed – 18 per cent said they did not know, compared to eight per cent of Jewish men.

The poll was carried out for the JC by Survation, which questioned a representative sample of more than 1,000 British Jews over the past week.

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