Jewish Canadians deeply divided over Israel, poll finds

A majority does not see criticism of Israel as necessarily anti-Semitic.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, like most Canadian political leaders, maintains uncritical support for Israel despite significant opposition to such policies from Jewish and non-Jewish Canadians alike

Ali Abunimah writes in The Electronic Intifida:

Jewish Canadians are deeply divided in their opinions on Israel, and many are highly critical of it. Moreover, a majority does not see criticism of Israel as necessarily anti-Semitic.

Those are key findings of the first survey to ask Jewish Canadians about their views on the situation in Palestine.

The report on the survey – entitled “Two Jews, Three Opinions: Jewish Canadians Diverse Views on Israel-Palestine” – notes that Canada’s ruling elites justify their virtually uncritical backing of Israel by “claiming it is necessary to support Jews and oppose anti-Semitism,” treating Jewish opinion as “monolithic.”

However, the survey, according to the report’s authors, “refutes the claims by the Canadian government and political parties that they are defending Canadian Jews against anti-Semitism by uncritically supporting Israel.”

Key findings include that:

  • Almost two in five respondents (37 percent) have a negative opinion of the Israeli government, while half view it positively;
  • Almost a third (31 percent) oppose Israel’s military blockade of the Gaza Strip;
  • Roughly equal numbers oppose (45 percent) and support (42 percent) US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital;
  • More than a third (36 percent) view the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel to be reasonable, and more than two in five (44 percent) oppose the Canadian parliament’s condemnation of the BDS movement;
  • Almost a quarter (22 percent) think it would be reasonable to impose sanctions on Israel.
  • Almost three in five do not see criticism of Israel as necessarily anti-Semitic;
  • Half agree that accusations of anti-Semitism are often used to silence legitimate criticism of Israel

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