Few back boy­cott, poll finds

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY MAR­CUS DYSCH

IS­RAEL IS seen as Bri­tain’s lead­ing Mid­dle East ally by more than half of the Bri­tish pub­lic, a poll has found.

But only one in five peo­ple feel “warm” to­wards Is­rael, slightly be­low the num­ber who have pos­i­tive feel­ings about Pales­tini­ans,

The Pop­u­lus sur­vey of 2,007 peo­ple was com­mis­sioned by ad­vo­cacy group Bi­com. Is­rael was re­garded as the lead­ing re­gional ally by 52 per cent of the sam­ple. Al­most two-thirds — 65 per cent — felt both sides were equally to blame for the con­flict.

Forty-three per cent op­posed the sin­gling out of Is­rael for boy­cotts, with only 12 per cent in favour. Al­most half (47 per cent) be­lieved a boy­cott cam­paign would also hurt Pales­tini­ans. A quar­ter of there­spon­dents­saidthey­would­back a boy­cott of Is­raeli set­tle­ments.

Bi­com chief ex­ec­u­tive James Sorene said: “There is very lit­tle sup­port for boy­cotts against Is­rael, which demon­strates that noisy cam­paigns have failed to make any im­pact.”

Shown the text of the 1917 Bal­four Dec­la­ra­tion, which ex­pressed UK gov­ern­ment sup­port for a Jewish home­land, 40 per cent said that it was, in prin­ci­ple, the “right” po­si­tion for Bri­tain to sup­port Zion­ist aims.

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