Wednesday, September 13, 2017

UK anti-semitism

More than a quarter of British people hold at least one anti-Semitic view, according to a study of attitudes to Jewish people such as "Jews think they are better than other people", and "Jews exploit holocaust victimhood for their own purposes". Only 2.4% - expressed multiple anti-Semitic attitudes "readily and confidently".  70% of the population of Britain had a favourable opinion of Jews and did not hold any anti-Semitic ideas or views. Anti-Semitic attitudes were higher than normal among people who classified their politics as "very right-wing".

 Fewer than one in five people questioned (17%) had a favourable opinion of Israel, whereas about one in three (33%) held an unfavourable view. The report said: "The position of the British population towards Israel can be characterised as one of uncertainty or indifference, but among those who hold a view, people with sympathies towards the Palestinians are numerically dominant."


nnickn said...

Having read about this survey in other periodicals and newspapers it seems more a comment on the state of education here then empirical research on anti-semitism. The Institute for Jewish Policy Research whose report this is also said: 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”. The JPR report found particularly interesting what it called the elasticity of prejudice and looked at "hard" and "soft" views deliberately.
The headline banner refers mainly to the "softer" type statement that Jews think themselves better than others and this kind of statement may be the kind that some people would say about Americans, Swiss, French, Japanese, Chinese, Indians et al. This shows us a sound bite knowledge of the world and I would suggests hints at what is a slow but determined attack in education on the more liberal and open minded humanities subjects which encourage critical analysis and thought leaving people with the media's views that other humans are not like us.

ajohnstone said...

It was tempting to delve deeper into this especially when it is now popular to equate anti-Israeli sentiments with anti-Semitism, or to suggest recognising injustices in the treatment of Palestinian and expressing sympathy is anti-semitism. But yes some anti-Semites do use Israels suppression of Palestinians as a generalised anti-Jewish position. They tend to over-emphasise the zionist-jewish lobby as the enemy within. Chomsky argues that the US policy is decided by US interests and not by Israels. Some would dispute that especially when it comes to funding and promotion of politicians.

Finklestein has done a very credible study in the Holocaust Industry that indeed the past and contemporary Israeli politics do use the Nazi Holocaust as a justification for their policies and play the role of victim...when now they are the perpetrator.

But the blog certainly recognises a rise in anti-semitism and condemns it as much as we do islamophobia or police violence against african-americans.