Eight out of ten British Jews identify as Zionist, says new poll

The CAA said the November survey countered far-left claims that Zionism is separate from Jewish identity


Gathering of British Jews and Israelis for a vigil for Israel and to demand the release of hostages held by Hamas, Parliament Square, October 15, 2023

British Jews almost unanimously feel “personally connected” to events happening in Israel and eight in ten self-identify as Zionist, according to a new poll conducted by the Campaign Against Antisemitism.

The survey, conducted between November 12 and 17, received 3,744 responses from British Jews of all ages and across the religious spectrum. Respondents were asked to answer several questions by choosing between five options ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”.

It revealed that 97 per cent British Jews feel “personally connected” to events happening in Israel, with no respondents choosing to disagree or strongly disagree with the statement. Eighty per cent of respondents considered themselves to be a Zionist.

The survey showed that more than six in ten British Jews have either personally experienced or witnessed an antisemitic incident since October 7 or know somebody who has, and that nearly half of British Jews – 48 per cent – have considered leaving the UK due to antisemitism since October 7.

To the statement “since October 7, 2023, I am less likely to show visible signs of my Judaism when I go out, for example a Star of David or a Jewish skullcap (kippah)”, 40 per cent said they “strongly agreed”, 29 per cent “agreed”, with 15 per cent choosing to disagree or strongly disagree.

The poll also revealed that a “staggering” 90 per cent of British Jews reported they would avoid travelling to a city centre if a major anti-Israel demonstration was taking place there, with the CAA concluding that this means urban centres have effectively become “no-go zones” for Jews.

Seventy-one per cent “strongly disagreed” with the statement that they are “satisfied with the BBC’s coverage of the Israel-Hamas crisis”, with 15 per cent disagreeing. Only 3 per cent agreed with the statement and 1 per cent strongly agreed.

With regards to UK political parties, 62 per cent of British Jews – almost two thirds – believe that the Labour Party is “too tolerant of antisemitism among their MPs, MEPs, councillors, members and supporters”.

Forty-seven per cent said the same about the SNP, 42 per cent about the Green Party, 32 per cent of the Liberal Democrats, and 14 per cent of the Conservative Party.

A spokesperson for the CAA referred to the findings as “ground-breaking” and would help to inform “the communal conversations in the coming years.”

The CAA also said the figures proved false the claim purported by far-left and Islamist antisemites that “Zionism is separate from Jewish identity or that Judaism is a religion with no connection to Israel.”

“We all know that Israel forms a core part of the identity of modern British Jews. Now we have the stats to prove it. We must never allow antisemites to dictate to Jews what it means to be Jewish,” the CAA said.

The survey was modelled on the National Jewish Community Survey (NJCS) conducted by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research and relied on self-selecting samples who confirmed their status as residents of the UK. Samples were primarily contacted through seed organisations, including religious bodies, online networks, and community welfare organisations. Several measures were implemented to avoid online respondents from being counted more than once.

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