Published On: Sun, Jan 17th, 2021

Half of British Jews Hide Sign of Judaism in Public

44% do not put much faith in the protection of their country's political institutions.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism and King’s College London released the results of a survey which found some startling (what some might even call discouraging) results. While British Jews have a better feeling about the future of their community they do not put much faith in the protection of their country’s political institutions.

It found that no fewer than 12% of British adults hold what it describes as “entrenched” anti-Semitic views. Only 20% of British Jews feel that their government is doing enough to combat antisemitism and most do not have faith that their criminal justice system is doing enough to fight against it. But 65% of them still believe that they have a long term future in the U.K.

However, 44% revealed that they fear displaying “visible signs” of their Judaism in public, like the wearing of a skull cap. This was the highest figure recorded since 2016.

An overwhelming majority of British Jews, 91%, agree that Hamas should be declared a terrorist organization in its entirety by the British Government.

(You can see the full survey results here.)

British Jews now have a firm belief that the country’s Labor Party is both anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist. This was cited as one of the reasons that the party suffered such a huge loss at the polls last year.

The British Labor Party had to go to the extreme measure of suspending its own former leader Jeremy Corbyn after the release of an official report last year about the Party’s widespread problem with antisemitism under his leadership. But this has yet to help it improve its image in the eyes of the country’s Jews.

The Generalized Antisemitism Scale consists of twelve questions, half of which focus on Judeophobic antisemitism and the other half on anti-Zionist antisemitism. People were asked if they agree or disagree with statements like “Jewish people are just as loyal to Britain as other British people” and “Jewish people talk about the Holocaust just to further their political agenda.”

The most popular anti-Semitic statement used by British people was that, “Israel treats the Palestinians like the Nazis treated the Jews.” The study found that 23% of British adults agreed with this. That view is anti-Semitic under the International Definition of Antisemitism adopted by the British Government.

Gideon Falter, Chief Executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “Britain’s Jews are back from the brink. This study starkly shows that Labor under Jeremy Corbyn dealt a crushing blow to Jews’ confidence in their very future in this country, and that our community is now beginning to recover.”

“But scars remain. Notwithstanding the relief felt by so many, our data shows that nearly half of those who normally wear outwards symbols of their Judaism now feel they have to hide it, and despite nine months of Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership of Labor, British Jews remain just as sure that the Party harbors anti-Semites.”

Since 2015, Campaign Against Antisemitism has conducted annual research into the prevalence of antisemitism in Britain, and sentiment among British Jews. Every year it commissions the UK’s leading polling company, YouGov, to poll the British population about their attitudes towards Jewish people. It also works with polling professionals and partners within the Jewish community for its own poll of British Jews to determine how antisemitism affects them.

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