A demonstrator wears a shirt reading 'Boycott Israel' [File].
(photo credit: AFP/ MOHD RASFAN)
NEW YORK – Thirty-three percent of Americans and forty percent of Britons believe that boycotting Israel is “justified,” according to a poll conducted in the United Kingdom and the United States this month by the market research firm Ipsos.
In the poll, which surveyed a representative sample of 1,100 adults in each country, participants were also asked whether they would support or oppose actions that lead to the boycotting of Israel.
About one quarter (24%) of Americans and a third (33%) of British respondents said they would support such actions, while 76% of Americans and 67% of Britons said they would oppose them.
In addition, the research found that more than a third of the American public (38%) disassociates the movement to boycott Israel from anti-Semitism, while the majority of the American public (62%) view the boycott on Israel as intending to harm Israel as “the national homeland of Jewish people.”
The British public, on the other hand, is divided: 49% agree with the claim that the boycott of Israel is a form of modern anti-Semitism and 51% disagree.
To the question “Would you define yourself as pro-Israel or anti-Israel?,” 81% of Americans and 67% of Britons said they are pro-Israel whereas 19% of Americans and 33% of Britons consider themselves anti-Israel.
Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, reacted to the poll on Monday and reiterated that Israel has “no more important ally than the United States and no closer friends than the American people.”
“Nevertheless, today’s students are less committed than previous generations to the special relationship between our two countries,” he continued. “We must reach out to the youngsters on campuses, cultivate the relationship, present the true face of Israel and better explain why we share a partnership based on shared values.”
The Israeli Mission to the US will host a day-long conference entitled “Building Bridges, Not Boycotts” at the UN Headquarters on Tuesday.
The event is aimed at discussing ways to battle the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and is sponsored by over a dozen Jewish and pro-Israel organizations including the World Jewish Congress, which commissioned the Ipsos poll for the occasion.
“We are proud of the students from all over the world who are joining us in the UN,” Ambassador Danon said. “There is no doubt that the BDS movement will continue its attempts to harm Israel, but together we will stand strong against this challenge.”