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Analysis

New BICOM poll reveals highest level of warmth towards Israel in 7 years, lowest support for boycotts

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A new opinion poll shows warmth towards Israel is at its highest level since 2010, with 21 per cent saying that they feel warm towards the country. Populus surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2021 GB adults in October 2017 on behalf of BICOM.

The survey recorded the lowest level of support for boycotts since 2014, at 11 per cent. Forty-eight per cent of respondents “do not support boycotts of Israel and find it difficult to understand how others do given everything else that is going on in the world”.

Young people have significantly reduced their level of support for boycotts in the last three years. This year, 45 per cent of 18-24s said they opposed singling out Israel for boycotts, in 2015 just 28 per cent opposed boycotts.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Half (49 per cent) agreed Israel is an important British ally in the fight against terror, more than for every other Middle Eastern country in the survey.
  • Of all the Middle Eastern countries polled, Israel is considered to be the fourth most important trading partner after Brexit, with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey considered more important.
  • Forty-six percent of respondents believe that “hating Israel and questioning its right to exist” is antisemitic. Seventeen per cent of people disagree with this statement.

Respondents were given the full text of the 1917 Balfour Declaration, in which the British Government expressed support for establishing a Jewish national home in Palestine, and asked if it was the right policy for the Government to have adopted. Thirty-eight per cent agreed it was the right policy and 17 per cent disagreed.

The survey recorded the lowest level of support for boycotts since 2014, at 11 per cent.

Young people have significantly reduced their level of support for boycotts in the last three years.

Israel is considered to be an important British ally in the fight against terror.

Of all the Middle Eastern countries polled, Israel is considered to be the fourth most important trading partner after Brexit, with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey considered more important.

Forty-six percent of respondents believe that “hating Israel and questioning its right to exist” is antisemitic.

Respondents were given the full text of the 1917 Balfour Declaration, in which the British Government expressed support for establishing a Jewish national home in Palestine, and asked if it was the right policy for the Government to have adopted. Thirty-eight per cent agreed it was the right policy and 17 per cent disagreed.

 

On behalf of BICOM Populus surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2,021 GB adults online between 6 and 8 October and an additional nationally representative sample of 2,041 GB adults between 9 and 11 October 2017.

Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. For more information see www.populus.co.uk.

James Sorene is available for interview.

We asked the British public if they felt warm, cold or neutral towards Israel.
Warm: 21%
Neutral/don’t know: 30%
Cold: 50%

We asked the British public if they consider Israel to be “an important ally of Britain in the fight against terror.”
Agree: 49%
Not an ally: 18%
Don’t know: 34%

We asked the British public who they consider “an important trading partner of Britain post-Brexit”.
Saudi Arabia: 54%
Qatar 39%
Turkey: 38%
Israel: 37%
Egypt: 33%
Iran: 22%

We asked the British public if they agree with the statement “I don’t boycott good or produce from Israel and find it difficult to understand why others would single out Israel to boycott given everything else that’s going on in the world.”
Agree: 48%
Disagree:11%
Neither agree nor disagree: 41%

Age 18-24:*
Agree: 45%
Disagree: 13%
Neither agree nor disagree: 42%

We asked the British public if they agreed that the Balfour Declaration to support a Jewish homeland was the right position for the UK government to take in 1917: (the question includes the text of the declaration)
Agree: 38%
Disagree: 17%
Neither agree nor disagree: 45%