A recent YouGov poll by King’s College London has revealed that a quarter of British adults over 64 believe that Israel treats the Palestinians like the Nazis treated the Jews, rising to more than one third of 18–24-year-olds.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) commissioned KCL to survey British adults’ attitudes towards Jews by analysing their responses to 12 statements related to antisemitism and anti-Zionism. A total of 2,084 adults were surveyed online between 8-11 December 2023, and the responses revealed a high rate of anti-Jewish prejudice particularly among the youngest demographic.
The results reveal that almost one fifth of the British public believes in antisemitic conspiracy theories such as the belief that Israel can get away with anything because its supporters control the media; more than a quarter of 18-24-year-olds believe this. Compared to the general population of British adults (one in 20), double the proportion of 18-24-year-olds (almost one in 10) do not believe that Jewish people are as loyal to Britain as other Brits.
While almost one fifth of the British public believes that Israel and its supporters are a bad influence on our democracy, that rises to over one quarter of 18–24-year-olds.
7 per cent of British adults do not believe that Israel has a right to defend itself against those who want to destroy it, and that figure doubles to 14 per cent among the youngest demographic. 14 percent of Britons said they are not comfortable spending time with people who openly support Israel and, among 18-24 year olds, that figure rises to 21% – more than one fifth of the young population.
A CAA spokesperson said: “The rhetoric that we are seeing online, on television and on our streets is radicalising the British public, but it is the rates of antisemitism that we have discovered among 18–24-year-olds that are most frightening.
“On the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day, our country needs an urgent rethink about how we teach about antisemitism. If young people cannot see the relationship between the genocidal antisemitism of the Nazis and the genocidal antisemitism of Hamas, and, worse still, refuse to talk about how our attitudes towards Israel and its supporters are influenced by antisemitic prejudice, then we are clearly not talking about antisemitism properly.
“Our education is failing the next generation, and our society is suffering as a result. It is British Jews who are paying the price.”