Poll: Brits have warmer feelings for PA than for Israel

New poll shows Brits have more favorable view of PA than of Israel - but most Brits reject BDS and say hating Israel is anti-Semitism.

Tags: Britain
David Rosenberg ,

צילום: iStock

A new poll shows Britons have a slightly more favorable view of the Palestinian Authority than of Israel, though Brits were also far more likely to oppose a boycott of Israel than to support it.

The poll was conducted by Populus on behalf of the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM), and surveyed 2,026 British adults.

When asked about their feelings towards various countries and autonomous regions in the Middle East, Britons were most likely to say the had warm feelings towards the Palestinian Authority, with 21% saying they had a favorable view of the PA, down from 23% in 2018.

Israel was two points behind the PA, with 19% of respondents saying they had positive feelings towards the Jewish state, down one point from 2018.

Turkey faced the largest drop in favorability ratings, falling from 24% in 2018 to just 16% in 2019.

Just six percent of Britons had a favorable view of Iran, compared to 9% in 2018.

Few Brits see Iran as a significant security threat to the UK, however, with just 20% calling Iran a significant threat, compared to 16% who said Tehran poses no threat at all.

The poll also found that a plurality – though not an absolute majority – of Brits oppose anti-Israel boycotts, with 46% agreeing with the following statement: “I don't boycott goods or produce from Israel and find it difficult to understand why other would single out Israel to boycott given everything else that is going on in the world.”

Forty percent said they did not know, and 14% disagreed, saying that they would support an anti-Israel boycott.

Last year, more Brits (48%) said they opposed anti-Israel boycotts, while the number who said they supported boycotting Israel was the same as in 2019.

Young people ages 18 to 24 were less likely than the rest of the population to oppose anti-Israel boycotts, with just 37% saying they would not join a boycott of the Jewish state. That’s down from 45% in 2018 and 2017.

Nearly half (45%) of Britons also said that hating Israel and questioning its right to exist is tantamount to anti-Semitism, while 18% disagreed, and 36% had no opinion. In 2018, more respondents (47%) said they believed hating Israel is anti-Semitic, and more respondents (20%) disagreed with that sentiment than in 2019.