POLL: British Public Strongly Backs Israel’s Right to Defend Itself

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Photo: London, England, UK – May 23, 2021: Solidarity With Israel Rally, Kensington High Street, Near the Embassy of Israel. Credit: Loredana Sangiuliano

EXCLUSIVE POLL: British public strongly backs Israel’s right to defend itself

Survey reveals high level of support for Israel’s right to defend itself and strong sympathy for UK Jews amid rising antisemitism

By The JC, May 27, 2021

The British public strongly backs Israel’s right to defend itself and feels deep sympathy for UK Jews in the wake of a recent wave of antisemitism, a new poll has revealed.

Just 10 per cent of Britons believe Israel does not have the right to defensive action while 55 per cent believe it does, according to a survey of 2,097 people carried out by Deltapoll over the past week.

The study, commissioned by the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), also showed strong public concern for British Jews over a spate of antisemitic attacks triggered by the conflict between Israel and Gaza.

Fifty-two per cent agreed that incidents such as the shouting of racist slogans from cars in Jewish areas made them “worry that future atrocities against Jewish people are still possible”.

It comes as Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab visited Israel this week to express Britain’s support for the ceasefire, while Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told the JC that he supported Zionism — and called on social media companies to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

Almost half of those surveyed by Deltapoll, 44 per cent, said the antisemitic incidents of recent weeks made them concerned for the safety of British Jews, while 46 per cent said it reminded them of historical atrocities against Jews.

A strong majority, 59 per cent, agreed that they were “angry and embarrassed” that incidents like the car convoy could occur in the present day. And almost nine in ten agreed that the perpetrators should be brought to justice — with over half of those saying that those responsible should face the toughest penalties.

Turning to Israel, 55 per cent agreed with the following statement: “Israel has a right to defend itself. If civilian areas in this country were being

attacked with rockets then I would expect the British government to do everything possible to defend people living here.”

Only four per cent of people “strongly” disagreed, with six per cent saying they “tend to disagree”.

Asked if British Jews should be asked to justify the actions of the Israeli government, a resounding 64 per cent replied “no”, with just 12 per cent answering “yes”.

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