British Jews are ‘more attached to Israel’ than US counterparts

A shrinking percentage of UK Jewry identifies as Zionist


A pro-Israel march in London (Photo: Getty Images)

A new survey has found that British Jews are more attached to Israel than their American counterparts 73 per cent against 58 per cent.

But the landmark poll by JPR, conducted before the current Hamas war, found that support for the ideology of Zionism is slipping in UK Jewry as a whole.

There is a noticeable age difference within the UK with the highest rate of attachment (82 per cent) among those in their fifties, compared with 66 per cent in the under-30s.

This is also apparent in how important people consider supporting Israel; 46 per cent of the over-sixties say “very” compared to 25 per cent of the under-30s.

There are also political differences in feelings of attachment to Israel.

While it is as high as 90 per cent among Conservatives, the sentiment drops to 64 per cent of Jewish Labour supporters, 70 per cent of Liberal Democrats and 41 per cent of Greens. But there is no great rush towards making aliyah with only 10 per cent saying they are more rather than less likely to go to live in Israel within the next five years.

As for Jewish survival, more think that the diaspora is definitely or probably necessary to ensure it long-term (89 per cent) than Israel (76 per cent).

Over the past decade, there has been a slight swing away from donating to Israel-related charities (although JPR notes that the war with Hamas may alter that).

While nine per cent prioritised Israel in their donations in 2013, only five per cent did so nine years later.

In the same period, domestic Jewish charities have claimed more support with 43 per cent giving them the highest priority for donations 10 per cent more than in 2013.

Overall nearly half of Jewish donors 49 per cent gave half or more of their donations to Jewish charities, compared with 43 per cent who gave less than half.

Nearly nine out of ten UK Jews (89 per cent) made at least one donation during the year.

When asked to rate the strength of their identity on a scale from 0 to ten, more than half 55 per cent put 9 or ten for Jewish; but only a third 33 per cent put 9 or ten for British.

The younger people are, the weaker their sense of British identity. Jewish men feel more British than Jewish women. JPR found that the more religious a person is, the happier they are.

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