The Jewish Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BY MAR­CUS DYSCH

AN UNPRECEDENTED study of an­ti­semitism has found that views which could be de­scribed as hard-core Je­whate are held by no more than 2.4 per cent of the Bri­tish pub­lic.

The UK re­mains one of the best places in the world for Jews to live with ha­tred aimed at the com­mu­nity among the low­est recorded in­ter­na­tion­ally, the re­port pub­lished this week by the In­sti­tute for Jewish Pol­icy Re­search (JPR) found.

Around 70 per cent of the Bri­tish pub­lic have a favourable opin­ion of Jews and “do not en­ter­tain any an­ti­semitic ideas or view at all”, it said.

But around three per cent of peo­ple hold mul­ti­ple an­ti­semitic at­ti­tudes but are not con­fi­dent about ex­press­ing them, and the re­port sug­gests that a “much larger num­ber of peo­ple” be­lieve neg­a­tive stereo­types and ideas about Jews although they do not re­alise that do­ing so could be seen as an­ti­semitic.

Col­lec­tively, around 30 per cent of the adult Bri­tish pop­u­la­tion showed “an­ti­semitic at­ti­tudes at dif­fer­ent in­ten­si­ties”.

The au­thors of An­ti­semitism in con­tem­po­rary Great Bri­tain said it pro­vided “a metic­u­lously-re­searched and de­tailed as­sess­ment of the pop­u­la­tion’s opin­ions about Jews and Is­rael, and ad­dresses the ques­tion of the re­la­tion­ship be­tween an­ti­semitism and anti- Is­raelism us­ing sta­tis­ti­cal tech­niques for the first time”.

Jonathan Boyd, JPR’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, said the re­port es­tab­lished “mul­ti­ple bench­marks against which to mea­sure an­ti­semitism, in or­der to help demon­strate whether an­ti­semitism is be­com­ing a more se­ri­ous prob­lem over

time or not, and to help pol­icy-mak­ers to make sound judg­ments based on ro­bust ev­i­dence”.

Re­searchers said they wanted to in­tro­duce a dif­fer­ent way of think­ing about the level of an­ti­semitism in Bri­tish so­ci­ety. What they call the “elas­tic view” shows that while some peo­ple may hold strongly an­ti­semitic views, and oth­ers do not, a third group hold at­ti­tudes which may make Jews feel of­fended or un­com­fort­able.

The re­port states: “De­ter­min­ing what is, and what is not an an­ti­semitic at­ti­tude is not al­ways clear. In keep­ing with the elas­tic view, we draw a crit­i­cal dis­tinc­tion be­tween count­ing an­ti­semites — peo­ple who are clearly an­ti­semitic — and mea­sur­ing an­ti­semitism — ideas that are com­monly per­ceived by Jews to be an­ti­semitic.

“The preva­lence of the for­mer is mar­ginal in Bri­tain; the preva­lence of the lat­ter is rather more com­mon.”

More than 4,000 were asked to state whether they agreed or dis­agreed with a va­ri­ety of ques­tions, in­clud­ing whether Jews “ex­ploit Holo­caust vic­tim­hood for their own pur­poses”, whether Jews “think they are bet­ter than other peo­ple and “get rich at the ex­pense of oth­ers”, and whether the com­mu­nity makes a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion to so­ci­ety.

Ques­tions on Is­rael re­lated to boy­cotts of goods and prod­ucts, whether re­spon­dents be­lieved Is­rael was “com­mit­ting mass mur­der in Pales­tine” and on the demo­cratic val­ues of the coun­try.

JPR said, Bri­tish Jews were seen “over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tively by an ab­so­lute ma­jor­ity of the pop­u­la­tion”.

The 70 per cent favourable fig­ure puts the com­mu­nity in a sim­i­lar po­si­tion to other re­li­gious mi­nori­ties, par­tic­u­larly the view of Bri­tish Hindus.

The re­port sought to an­swer three ques­tions: why lev­els of anx­i­ety among Bri­tish Jews about the scale of an­ti­semitism ap­peared to be out of sync with low lev­els of Jew-hate ob­served among the gen­eral pub­lic; whether anti-Is­rael or anti-Zion­ist views were ac­tu­ally anti- 87

semitism in dis­guise; and whether Je­whate was more or less preva­lent among po­lit­i­cal and re­li­gious groups in­clud­ing the far-right and far-left, and the Mus­lim com­mu­nity.

JPR’s work was backed by the Com­mu­nity Se­cu­rity Trust, which col­lates fig­ures on the num­ber of an­ti­semitic in­ci­dents in Bri­tain ev­ery year.

While the chance of en­coun­ter­ing “strong an­ti­semitism” is slim for Bri­tish Jews, there is a one in three chance of ex­pe­ri­enc­ing some­one ex­press­ing a “po­ten­tially of­fen­sive, or at the very least, un­com­fort­able” view of Jews, the re­port found.

Just one per cent of peo­ple said it would be ac­cept­able to be vi­o­lent to­wards Jews be­cause of their re­li­gious be­liefs, mak­ing the Jewish com­mu­nity the least threat­ened group among mi­nori­ties. Against Mus­lims, the re­sponse reached around 7.5 per cent, and against im­mi­grants it was around seven per cent.

The re­search re­vealed that around 12 per cent hold “hard-core” neg­a­tive views about Is­rae. More than half the re­spon­dents — 56 per cent — hold at least one neg­a­tive view of Is­rael.

Lev­els of Jew-ha­tred were higher than av­er­age among the far-right and among Mus­lims. While the far-right re­main small in num­ber, this group dis­played the high­est preva­lence of Jew-hate on the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum. Anti-Is­rael sen­ti­ment was shown more strongly on the left-wing of pol­i­tics as well as within the Mus­lim com­mu­nity.

Mus­lims were likely to be two to four times more likely to hold an­tiIs­rael views than the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion, although the re­port found that 60 per cent of Mus­lims agreed that “a Bri­tish Jew is just as Bri­tish as any other per­son”. Most peo­ple within that com­mu­nity dis­agreed with, or were neu­tral on, a se­ries of an­ti­semitic state­ments read to them.

JPR’s work was the largest pop­u­la­tion sur­vey con­ducted on this topic in Bri­tain. The An­ti­semitism Pol­icy Trust and polling com­pany Ip­sos MORI as­sisted JPR and CST.

The re­spon­dents, a ran­dom sam­ple of the UK pub­lic aged over 16, an­swered ques­tions face-to-face and on­line be­tween Oc­to­ber last year and Fe­bru­ary 2017.

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