September 22, 2019

New Study Shows Link Between BDS and Anti-Semitism

A new report from the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) has found an established link between the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and anti-Semitism in Great Britain.

The report found that 9 percent of respondents strongly or tend to agree that people should boycott Israeli goods and products, while 46 percent strongly or tend to disagree, 23 percent neither agree or disagree and 19 percent don’t know.

On the question on if Israel is an apartheid state, 21 percent strongly agree or tend to agree, 19 percent strongly disagree or tend to disagree, 22 percent neither agree or disagree and 37 percent don’t know.

Respondents were also asked if they agreed with certain anti-Semitic sentiments; 13 percent believed that Jews think they’re superior to other people, 12 percent Jews in Britain have different interests from others, 12 percent think that Jews obtained their wealth by exploiting other people, 10 percent think that Jews use the Holocaust to further their own agenda and 8 percent think the Jews have an outsized influence on Britain. An additional 3 percent think that the horrors of the Holocaust are overstated and 2 percent think the Holocaust is a hoax altogether.

JPR found a correlation between those that stated that Israel is an apartheid state and that people should boycott Israel and those who agreed with the aforementioned anti-Semitic statements, although it was stronger among the latter than the former:

“Whilst it would be wrong to regard agreement with either the apartheid or boycott statements as being anti-Jewish under all circumstances, the fact remains that agreement with either statement positively correlates with anti-Jewish sentiment,” the report states. “And although certain other Israel statements correlate more strongly, the association with the boycott statement can still be considered strong, and the association with the apartheid statement whilst weaker, is nevertheless, clearly evident.”

“It is, therefore, scientifically reasonable to conclude that when such claims are made about Israel by non-Jews, there is a relatively high likelihood that they are being made by someone who is also predisposed towards anti-Jewish feeling, thereby indicating anti-Semitic feeling, motive or intent,” the report continues.

Jonathan Boyd, executive director of JPR, told the Jewish Chronicle that the report shows that while one can hold such anti-Israel sentiments without being anti-Semitic, “Jewish people, the majority of whom are broadly supportive of Israel, are right to be cautious here.”

The Jewish Chronicle wrote in an editorial that “the report provides clear and objective evidence of the link between antisemitism and hostility towards Israel.”

“Take support for the inherently anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement; BDS singles out the Jewish homeland for boycott,” the editorial states. “And, quelle surprise, the report finds that most BDS supporters also hold a series of anti-Semitic views.”

The report comes as UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn faces criticism for harboring anti-Semitic views and letting it grow within his own party.