Majority of British Jews disagree with BBC coverage of Israel-Hamas war, poll reveals

86% said they were not satisfied with the corporation’s offering, the poll commissioned by the CAA reveals


The majority of British Jews are not satisfied with the BBC's coverage of the Israel-Hamas war, a new poll has revealed.

The poll from the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) revealed 86% of British Jews disagreed with the statement: ‘Overall, I am satisfied with the BBC's coverage of the Israel-Hamas crisis’. Of this, 71% strongly disagreed and 15% disagreed.

Only 3% agreed with the statement whilst 1% strongly agreed. Meanwhile, 6% said that they never watched or listened to the BBC.

The CAA also asked Jews in the UK whether they were less likely to show visible signs of their faith, such as wearing a kippah. 40% said they strongly agreed and 29% said they agreed.

On the other side, only 6% said they strongly disagreed and 9% said they disagreed. 16% said they were not sure.

British Jews were also asked if they would consider leaving the UK due to antisemitism. Almost a third (31%) said they agreed and 17% said they strongly agreed.

61% of Jews polled also said they or someone they knew had experienced or witnessed an antisemitic incident since October 7, compared to just 39% who hadn’t.

When asked if an antisemitic hate crime was being treated by the police in the same way as other forms of hate crime, only 5% said they strongly agreed and 11% agreed. Meanwhile, 34% of British Jews disagreed, 32% said they strongly disagreed and 18% were not sure.

Finally, when asked if they felt ‘personally connected to events happening in Israel?’, 78% strongly agreed, 19% agreed and 2% were not sure.

The result are expected to increase pressure on the BBC, which has prompted outrage over its coverage of the war, including the false claim that the Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza had been destroyed by an Israeli airstrike.

Veteran BBC editor Jeremy Bowen sparked outrage recently after he said he did not regret “one thing” about delivering an inaccurate report about a blast at Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza shortly after the war started.

Jon Donnison, another veteran BBC journalist, also wrongly suggested Israel was behind the same blast in October.

Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies, has previously told Tim Davie, the director-general of the BBC, of the Jewish community’s outrage at the refusal of the corporation to describe Hamas’ actions on October 7 as terrorism.

A CAA spokesperson said: “86% of British Jews are not satisfied with the BBC’s coverage of the Israel-Hamas crisis, and only four percent are.

“These are astonishing figures, and must surely give the BBC pause. The Corporation’s failure to call Hamas ‘terrorists’, its prejudiced misreporting of the hospital blast and Jeremy Bowen’s shameless remorselessness are just a selection of the controversies in which the BBC has been embroiled over the past two months.

“These scandals have served only to confirm the Jewish community’s perception of the BBC as a biased broadcaster that fails to live up to its duty of impartiality when it comes to reporting on the Jewish state. As we have shown in the last few weeks, this bias fuels antisemitism in the UK and has real-world effects. Clearly, urgent steps must be taken to turn the situation around.

“British Jews are forced to pay a licence fee to fund coverage with which they are not satisfied. It is time for accountability. The BBC must finally listen and deliver to its Jewish and non-Jewish viewers, listeners and readers the sort of coverage that they can rely on.”

A BBC spokesperson said: "The BBC holds itself to high standards of impartial reporting and rejects the suggestion that we are biased against Israel.

“The conflict is a challenging and polarising story to cover, and we are dedicated to providing impartial reporting for audiences in the UK and across the world.

"Our own audience research shows that BBC News is considered the most impartial provider for coverage of the conflict. BBC News will continue to listen carefully to all audience feedback.

"Recent research by More in Common echoes this and shows the highest proportion of people in Britain sees the BBC as neutral. BBC News will continue to listen carefully to all audience feedback.”

The CAA polled 3,744 British Jews between November 12 and 17.

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