Today, Campaign Against Antisemitism publishes its latest Antisemitism Barometer, comprising a survey of the British public’s views toward Jews and a poll of the Jewish community.
The Barometer’s poll of the British public’s views towards Jews is the first survey to use the Generalised Antisemitism Scale, devised by Dr Daniel Allington of King’s College, Louise Katz of the University of Derby, and Dr David Hirsh of Goldsmiths, for the purpose of this study. The survey was designed and analysed by Dr Allington, with fieldwork carried out by YouGov.
- Using the new twelve-question Generalised Antisemitism Scale, the survey shows that 55% of British adults do not harbour any antisemitic views; they did not affirm a single one of the twelve statements.
- The other side of the coin, however, is that there is deeply troubling normalisation of antisemitism, as 45% of British adults did affirm at least one antisemitic statement, although over half of them only agreed with one or two antisemitic statements.
- 12% of British adults have entrenched antisemitic views, affirming four or more antisemitic statements.
- The most popular antisemitic statement was that “Israel treats the Palestinians like the Nazis treated the Jews”, with which 23% of British adults agreed. That view is antisemitic under the International Definition of Antisemitism adopted by the Government.
The Barometer also includes a separate survey of British Jews designed and analysed in consultation with Dr Allington and carried out by Campaign Against Antisemitism and Jewish community partners. The survey reveals that:
- British Jews are showing early signs of recovery from the Corbyn era but have been left scarred. Far more British Jews are optimistic about their future in the UK this year, but the proportion who decline to display visible signs of their Jewish identity due to antisemitism is at a record high.
- British Jews’ confidence in the criminal justice system is low: a majority believes that the Crown Prosecution Service does not do enough to protect British Jews and the courts were also strongly criticised. Only the police receive more praise than criticism.
- British Jews reserve the greatest opprobrium for politicians. They believe that almost every political party is more tolerant of antisemitism than it was last year; the Labour Party is viewed as more than twice as tolerant of antisemitism than any other party showing that it still has a great deal of work to do to win the confidence of British Jews.
- In the first ever poll on the subject, an overwhelming majority of British Jews — 91% — want the Government to proscribe Hamas in its entirety.
- Two thirds of British Jews are deeply concerned by the BBC’s coverage of matters of Jewish concern, and 55% by its handling of antisemitism complaints, Channel 4 also performs poorly with British Jews. Both broadcasters are state-funded.
Gideon Falter, Chief Executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “Britain’s Jews are back from the brink. This study starkly shows that Labour under Jeremy Corbyn dealt a crushing blow to Jews’ confidence in their very future in this country, and that our community is now beginning to recover.
“But scars remain. Notwithstanding the relief felt by so many, our data shows that nearly half of those who normally wear outwards symbols of their Judaism now feel they have to hide it, and despite nine months of Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership of Labour, British Jews remain just as sure that the Party harbours antisemites.
“Though Britain remains one of the best countries in the world in which to live as a Jew, almost a fifth still feel unwelcome in this country. The departure of Mr Corbyn is no substitute for the sustained action and leadership to protect the Jews of this country — in politics, universities and social media — for which we have been calling for years.”
The full Barometer is available at antisemitism.org/barometer.