The Times of Israel
February 5, 2015
Anti-Israel protestors march down Regent Street in London on August 9, 2014.A recent poll shows that Britons regard Israel less favorably than any other country besides North Korea. The results came as a shock to Israelis and supporters of Israel, but they shouldn’t have. After all, British supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement are widespread, blood libels about the Palestinian ‚genocide‘ and Israeli organ harvesting are heard from members of the peerage, and Israel remains one of the few countries the British royal family hasn’t visited.
True, Jews are deeply integrated into British society and have felt secure for decades. But incidents of antisemitic violence have been escalating and even notables like the Jewish director of television of the BBC have expressed fear about the future of Jews in the country. Antisemitism, interwoven and often indistinguishable from anti-Zionism, has reemerged full force. New statistics on antisemitic incidents prove that the British climate is changing for the worse.
Why the animosity against Israel, which extends from the political left to the right, and across all social classes? Four sources may be suggested, each with roots in the 20th century.