A new survey of the state of UK Jews indicates that they are worried about Israel’s new government. In the survey, conducted among 700 respondents for the Jewish News newspaper, 52% said that far-right ministers in the coalition “impact” their view of Israel, though 58% said that “British Jewish leaders should still meet these politicians” if called to do so.
Just a year ago, a top British Jewry group, the Board of Deputies, told current Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, when he visited London, to “leave Europe,” and called him a “disgrace.” The survey was conducted by Survation over three weeks in January.
The survey shows that about three-quarters of UK Jews thought Israel was “important to their identity,” while an even higher number said that “Jews living abroad were within their rights to criticize Israel’s government in public if the situation demanded.”
When asked the following questions: “To what extent, if at all, would the inclusion of politicians in the Israeli government, deemed to be far right, impact your feelings toward Israel?” About 52% said it “impacts” their feelings, while about 42% said it “doesn’t impact.”
The survey also found that the younger the respondents, the less likely they were to consider Israel important. The figure starts at 82%, for those aged 55 and above who said Israel was “very” or “quite” important to them. It drops to 75% among those aged 35-54, then to 68% for the 18-34 age group.
When asked about criticizing Israel, age was a key component in the attitudes of UK Jews, the survey found. “More than 85% of Jews aged 18-34 were happy to criticize Israel in public, but fewer than 70% of those aged 55 and above felt they would do so,” the report reads.
Many young Jews in the UK said they opposed dialogue of their leadership with Israeli far-right ministers; “38% of younger adults advised against such a meeting whereas among those aged 55+, only 20% would shun them,” the report reads.
More than half said inclusion of far-right ministers impacts their feelings
In addition, more than half of the respondents, 52%, said the inclusion of far-right Israeli ministers in the current Netanyahu-led government “impacts” their feelings towards Israel. Interestingly, 58% said, “British Jewish leaders should still meet these politicians if called to do so.” This is interesting since a year ago, a top British Jewry group, the Board of Deputies, told now Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich to “leave Europe,” and called him a “disgrace,” when he visited London.
Interestingly, the young Jews in the UK were more against dialogue of their leadership with Israeli far-right ministers. “38% of younger adults advised against such a meeting whereas, among those aged 55+, only 20 percent would shun them,” the Jewish News revealed.
70% of the respondents of all ages said that they didn’t think the Israelis “care” what the Jews in the Diaspora think of their government.
The survey was conducted by Survation over three weeks in January.