Friday, October 22, 2010
British Jews favour 'two-state solution' in Israel
Survey finds UK's Jewish community supports Israel's right to defend itself but should now help create Palestinian state.
An Orthodox Jew walking through a London market. Research shows 77% of British Jews favour a 'two-state solution' in Israel. Photograph: Victor de Schwanberg/Alamy
The majority of British Jews favour a "two-state solution" to the situation in Israel, and more than half would support negotiations with Hamas, according to research published today.
The study carried out by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) found Jews in Britain strongly identify with and support Israel, with nine out of 10 having visited the country.
Nearly three quarters (72%) agreed Israel's action in Gaza in 2008 and 2009 was "a legitimate act of self-defence".
But more than three-quarters (77%) favour a "two-state solution", which would see the creation of a Palestinian state, as the "only way" to make peace in the Middle East.
Just over half (52%) said they would support Israeli government negotiations with Hamas.
JPR's executive director, Jonathan Boyd, said: "Fundamentally, we found that most Jews feel a strong sense of connection to Israel, and for many it forms an important, and even central, part of their Jewish identity.
"Jews in Britain are pro-Israel and pro-peace. Their hawkishness on some issues is typically motivated by a clear concern for Israel's security, while their dovishness on others reflects a deep-set desire to see the country at peace, both with itself and with its neighbours."
• Researchers spoke to more than 4,000 people earlier this year for the study, entitled Committed, concerned and conciliatory: The attitudes of Jews in Britain towards Israel.