Only about one in nine Brits support a boycott of Israel, and up to half think it would be detrimental to Palestinians, according to a new poll released on Tuesday.
A survey of more than 2,000 people, commissioned by BICOM and carried out by Populus, also showed that up to a quarter of all respondents felt that a boycott would make Israel less likely to negotiate peace.
Nearly half of the respondents (47 percent) thought the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign would hurt both the Palestinians and Israelis, 43 percent objected to Israel being singled out and only 12 percent supported it. It also found that more than half considered Israel to be the UK’s main ally in the Middle East.
In the run-up to the centenary of the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which expressed support from the British government for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people, the poll also showed that four in ten agreed that Balfour got it right, compared to only 17 percent who disagreed.
“That result was fascinating,” said BICOM chief executive James Sorene. “Forty percent of people agreed that the UK was right to pursue this policy, essentially supporting the Zionist idea.”
He added: “The British public considers Israel the UK’s strongest ally in the Middle East, facing a shared threat from ISIS, and warmth towards Israel hasn’t changed significantly since 2011. There is very little support for boycotts against Israel, which demonstrates that noisy campaigns have failed to make any impact.”