UK poll: Majority of Britons back Israel's right to defend itself

Survey finds that a majority of the British public also have empathy for Jewish community in the wake of a surge of anti-Semitic attacks.

Dan Verbin ,

Digital poll
Digital poll

According to a new poll, the British public overwhelmingly backs Israel’s right to defend itself and has empathy for the UK Jewish community who have been subjected to a recent surge in anti-Semitic incidents, reported the Jewish Chronicle.

The Deltapoll from last week found that 55 percent of the public believe that Israel has a right to defend itself while only 10 percent do not.

It also found that there is strong sympathy from the British public for the Jewish community in the wake of a large number of anti-Semitic attacks precipitated by the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Over half, 52 percent, felt that incidents of Jew-hate, such as shouting anti-Semitic statements from cars in Jewish areas were part of a trend that gave them “worry that future atrocities against Jewish people are still possible” while 44 percent said that the surge of such incidents in the last few weeks made them concerned for the safety of the Jewish community, and 46 percent said that such incidents were reminiscent of historical violence against Jews.

A large majority of 59 percent said they were “angry and embarrassed” that anti-Semitic incidents would happen today, with 9 out of 10 agreeing that the perpetrators of the attacks should be subject to the harshest penalties.

On Israel, 55 percent agreed that Israel has a right to defend itself, agreeing with the statement that 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.”

More concerning was that the poll, across the board, found that young people were statistically more hostile toward Israel, and much less likely to agree that Israel has a right to defend itself. The pattern seemed to suggest that young people were influenced by pro-Palestinian messaging on social media.

The poll of 2,097 people was commissioned by the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC).