The recent publication of research by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research on hostility towards Israel in the UK makes for chilling reading, and should once and for all dispel the myth that hatred of Israel and hatred of Jews aren’t fundamentally related.
As the report notes, a significant majority of British Jews would consider a non-Jewish person who endorsed a boycott of Israeli goods and products to be either ‘probably’, or ‘definitely’ antisemitic. Of course, the best people – the only people – to define what constitutes antisemitism, are Jews themselves. As indeed is the case with other forms of bigotry.
There is some good news in this research: a large plurality disagrees with the statement “people should boycott Israeli goods and products”. This is a reminder of where the mainstream of British public opinion is. But, as the report makes clear, “a relationship exists between British people’s agreement with each of the two key contentions and their predisposition towards anti-Jewish sentiment – as one scale increases, so does the other”.
But as the report makes clear, “a relationship exists between British people’s agreement with each of the two key contentions and their predisposition towards anti-Jewish sentiment – as one scale increases, so does the other”. Thus over half of those who support boycotts hold six or more antisemitic views (such as “Jews think they are better than other people”, “Jews get rich at the expense of others”, “Jews exploit Holocaust victimhood for their own purposes”) Indeed just 6% of those who support boycotts don’t hold any antisemitic views.
This strong correlation should not come as a surprise – the mental gymnastics required to reconcile the advocacy of boycotts against the world’s sole Jewish state (and the Middle East’s sole democracy) without also having an underlying dislike of Jews, are simply too great.
There will of course be those that dispute this – perhaps denying that the antisemitic views listed are antisemitic. This demonstrates that the word “antisemitism” still retains power as a label but it does not change the reality.
The report makes for worrying reading, and puts to bed the claim that anti-Israel hatred and antisemitism aren’t linked. As this research demonstrates, in the minds of those who hate Israel, there most certainly is a link.