IJPR report on the attitudes of Jews in Britain towards Israel

The Institute for Jewish Policy Research‘s Israel Survey find attitudes of Jews in Britain towards Israel “committed, concerned and conciliatory”.

“Jews in Britain strongly identify with and support Israel. They are ready to see Israel swap territory for peace and to talk with Hamas if it will advance the cause of peace. At the same time, they are concerned about Israel’s security, support the separation barrier/security fence and viewed the 2008/09 operation in Gaza as “a legitimate act of self-defence.”

These are the central findings of the most definitive study ever conducted of the attitudes of Jews in Britain towards Israel. The study, entitled Committed, concerned and conciliatory: The attitudes of Jews in Britain towards Israel, is published today by the community’s leading research institute, the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR).”

Read the report. No time for further thoughts at the moment, but this is important.

(Hat tip David G)

13 Responses to “IJPR report on the attitudes of Jews in Britain towards Israel”

  1. Brian Robinson Says:

    “[B]ut for me [Dr David Graham], the really interesting data on the relationship of Jewish people to Israel lies elsewhere. For example, nine out of ten respondents believe that Israel is the “ancestral homeland of the Jewish people”. And yet, less than half believe that the “Land of Israel was given to the Jewish people by God”. A similarly intriguing finding is that almost nine out of ten say that Jews in Britain are part of a global Jewish “Diaspora”, yet less than two out of ten think that Jews who live outside Israel are in ‘exile’ from the Land.

    “The connection to Israel as seen here is therefore a distinctly ethno-cultural attachment as opposed to a religious or faith-based attachment. And herein lies an explanation to the seeming contradiction of a simultaneously hawkish and dovish Jewish stance that goes to the heart of the nature of Jewish identity.

    “Whereas Christian identity is primarily focused on faith and religious doctrine, Jewish identity is more sociologically complex. It consists of a mixture of religious, cultural and ethnic attachments. For example, the Israel Survey found that over half of all respondents described their outlook as “Secular” or “Somewhat secular” as opposed to “Religious” or “Somewhat religious”. Yet all the respondents consider themselves to be Jewish and three-quarters belong to a synagogue. . . .”

    “[I]n the interests of achieving peace, a majority feels that Israel should stop expanding settlements, give up land, move towards the creation of a Palestinian state, and even, if absolutely necessary, talk to Hamas.

    “These are indeed the headlines, but beyond them is a clear expression by Jews in Britain of a strong ethno-cultural attachment to Israel—one which desires a secure Israel, but also a peaceful Israel and, above all, one which accommodates a willingness to see sacrifices made to achieve this. Understood in this way, any seeming contradiction between Jews’ hawkishness and dovishness begins to disappear.”

    — Dr David Graham, JPR Open Forum’s blog


  2. Blacklisted Dictator Says:

    This is classic:
    “A surprising result was that political opinion is related to educational achievements.
    The more highly educated the respondents, the more likely they are to hold dovish views and to be critical of Israel’s domestic policies.For example, respondents with at least post grad qualifications are more likely to think that non-Jewish minority groups in Israel suffer from discrimination….They are less likely to agree that the security fence is vital for israel, or that the Gaza war was a legitimate act of self-defence.”

    Youv’e got to love the authors of this report.
    Is it really “surprising”??
    Have they ever been to a UK university?
    Which planet have they inhabited over the last 35 years?

  3. Blacklisted Dictator Says:

    “slightly surprising”

  4. Blacklisted Dictator Says:

    Mira Vogel,

    I draw your attention to the attached, and hope that Engage readers, will discuss it. What is the point of blogging the report if you are unwilling to discuss its contents?

    According to the report:

    47% of resondents, agree or strongly agree, that “Most Palestinians want peace with Israel.”

    Now bear in mind, that Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, and is the government in Gaza.

    Why didn’t the questionnaire ask whether respondents agreed with the statement that “Hamas wants peace with Israel.”

    Why wasn’t that question asked? I would argue that the reason is that the survey avoided the really difficult issues in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

    • Mira Vogel Says:

      Why didn’t the questionnaire ask whether respondents agreed with the statement that “Hamas wants peace with Israel.”

      Over half of the respondents agreed / strongly agreed that “The government of Israel should negotiate with Hamas in its efforts to achieve peace”, and I’d say it tells us more to know whether British Jews think that some kind of accommodation on the part of Hamas, and with Hamas, is possible, than finding out whether British Jews believe that Hamas currently actually wants peace.

  5. Tony Says:

    This report shows how wrong IJV are when they say :

    “It indicates that the viewpoint of Independent Jewish Voices is that of at least a significant minority, and possibly a majority, of Jews in the UK.”


    Surprisingly only one article on the IJPR report on the Guardian’s Comment Is Free. Well not really surprising seeing that it was The Guardian that was the main driving force behind IJV.

  6. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    “It indicates that the viewpoint of Independent Jewish Voices is that of at least a significant minority, and possibly a majority, of Jews in the UK.”

    What a wonderful example of wishful thinking. As the old Jewish joke has it, “if wishes were real, then beggars would ride.”

  7. Blacklisted Dictator Says:

    Mira Vogel,

    So one might conclude that the majority of British Jewry think that not only is accomodation with Hamas possible, but that it might actually lead to peace.

    However, I wonder whether UK Jewry is well informed regarding Hamas’ political philosophy. If it was, it might not reach such a view.

    • Thomas Venner Says:

      Most people in Britain don’t know much at all about Hamas’ political ideology, seeing as the BBC (still the main news source for most people) won’t even describe them as terrorists, let alone mention anything about all that peculiar stuff with the talking rocks.

      Then again, there are some people in Hamas who genuinely do seem to want to negotiate, mainly because they realise that a) they can’t win and b) that the people of Gaza might turn against them if they trigger off another full-scale war with Israel, so some kind of accomodation might actually be possible in future.

  8. Lynne T Says:

    Blacklisted Dictator:

    Maybe not. Paul Berman, the author of “Terror and Liberalism” and more recently, “The Flight of the Intellectuals” posits that the problem of our post-Enlightenment age is that too many small “l” liberal minded people are quite incapable of appreciating how irrationally minded fanatical groups like Hamas truly are. They believe that among them, there are “moderates” who can be spoken to.

  9. Blacklisted Dictator Says:

    Lynne T,
    I agree.

    Moreover British Jewry should remember that Israel is prepared to release hundreds of prisoners to secure Gilad Shalit’s freedom. It is a prospective deal heavily weighted in Hamas’ favour, but it has been rejected.

    In such circumsatnces, is one really to conclude that Hamas wants a peaceful resolution to the conflict?

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