Posts Categorized: 2015 News

Statement on Ami Ayalon event at King’s College London, 19/01/16

Yachad has brought Ami Ayalon, former director of the Shin Bet, to the UK for a series of events this week. Every public event in a Jewish communal space has been full to capacity with excellent discussions. Yesterday (Tuesday) evening, Yachad held an event in partnership with Kings and LSE Israel Societies. The event took place at the Kings College Building on the Strand. Whilst some of what happened at the event has already been documented on social media, some important details have been left out. Ami arrived at the venue 30 minutes before it was due to take place,… READ MORE »

Critics are wrong about our survey

Steve Miller, Margaret Harris and Colin Shindler in the Jewish Chronicle, 10/12/15  We Jews invented cognitive dissonance. The American Jewish psychologist, Leon Festinger, was the first to coin the phrase and to use it to describe people’s responses to information which conflicts with their own understandings of reality. There’s a perfect illustration of the phenomenon in the flurry of argument, rationalisation and denial that has surfaced in response to our survey of British Jews’ attitudes to Israel (conducted in association with City University and Ipsos Mori, and funded by Yachad). Interestingly, no one has questioned our data showing that 90-95… READ MORE »

Why are some uncomfortable using the term Zionist? Blame Zionist thought police

Yachad director Hannah Weisfeld in the Jewish News, 26/11/15 This month’s publication by City University of research into British Jewish attitudes to Israel sent a segment of Anglo-Jewry into a serious tizz. While some Jewish communal organisations were busy distributing it to their key supporters telling them it was a “must-read”, in a small corner, another group of people were busy shouting ­– mainly at each other – that there must be something wrong with the data because it does not reflect their opinions. Self-appointed experts were wheeled out in the form of long-ago ex-chairs of the Zionist Federation, lecturers in… READ MORE »

Yachad and Israeli Embassy join forces against Israel “rogue state” motion

Gabriel Pogrund in the Jewish News, 19/11/15 Liberal Zionist advocacy group Yachad and the Israeli embassy will join forces to oppose the motion that “Israel is a rogue state” at a university debate this evening. The founder and director of Yachad, Hannah Weisfeld, is due to appear alongside the Israeli Embassy’s spokesperson Yiftah Curiel at a University of Southampton Debating Society event. The unlikely alliance comes a week after Yachad, a long outspoken critic of the Israeli government, published research saying almost seventy per cent of British Jews feel “a sense of despair” every time Israel expands illegal settlements in the West Bank. Speaking in support of… READ MORE »

Diaspora Jews offer a rare chance for hope in the Middle East

Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian, 13/11/15 Diasporas can be trouble. Whether it was the German-Americans who agitated to keep the United States out of the war against Hitler, the Irish-Americans who bankrolled the IRA’s “armed struggle”, or the Cuban-Americans who lobbied to keep the US shackled to a pointless embargo of the island, émigré communities have a chequered record when it comes to the influencing of foreign policy. The scholar Fred Halliday used to joke that there was a doctoral thesis waiting to be written on “irresponsible diasporas”, focusing on those who, when it comes to the affairs of the… READ MORE »

Fewer British Jews identifying as ‘Zionists,’ poll shows

Natasha Roth in 972, 13/11/15 The British Jewish community is undergoing a shift in its attitudes towards the Israeli government, according to a new report released on Thursday. The survey, released by British “pro-Israel, pro-peace” group Yachad showed that while British Jews are overwhelmingly supportive of Israel as a Jewish state, a large majority — 75 percent — believes settlements are a “major” obstacle to peace. (Full disclosure: I proof-read the report ahead of its release.) A significant majority also expressed dismay at the government’s failure to stop building in the occupied West Bank, with 68 percent agreeing with the statement… READ MORE »

Israel, British Jews and the religious divide

Simon Rocker in the Jewish Chronicle, 12/11/15 The findings of the City University survey on British-Jewish attitudes to Israel will no doubt be talked and argued about over Friday night tables, Saturday morning kiddush and elsewhere over the next few days. While some of the headline stats will attract attention – massive opposition to settlement expansion and concern at the Israeli government’s stance on peace – the report overall presents a more complex and nuanced picture of British Jew’s relationship with Israel. One striking trend is the relationship between religious affiliation and dovishness. It is not new – as the… READ MORE »

Poll: British Jews Are pro-Israel but Critical of Its Government

Anshel Pfeffer in Haaretz, 12/11/15 The first major survey in five years on British Jews’ attitudes toward Israel shows them overwhelmingly to be pro-Israel and Zionist (though not all of them seem to actually like to be described as such). A large majority is also very critical of Israeli policies, particularly the expansion of settlements. The poll broadly confirms the findings of the 2010 Israel Survey by Britain’s Institute for Jewish Policy Research. The new survey was commissioned and funded by Yachad, a British “pro-Israel, pro-peace” advocacy organization, designed by City University London and carried out by the IPSOS Mori… READ MORE »

Poll shows British Jews ‘despair’ at Israeli peace effort

Russia Today, 12/11/15 The majority of British Jews do not believe Israel’s efforts to make peace with the Palestinians are working, a new poll shows. Many also think Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territories is detrimental to its standing in the world. The research, carried out by British pro-peace organization Yachad, found that over two-thirds of respondents feel a “sense of despair” when new Israeli settlements are approved in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Some 90 percent of those polled support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, but the research found many British Jews don’t support many… READ MORE »

Most British Jews dislike most Israeli actions and want peace with Palestine, survey finds

Mark Piggot in the International Business Times, 12/11/15 A large majority of British Jews feel uncomfortable with some Israeli policies, believing they harm the country’s reputation abroad. Most British Jews have a “sense of despair” on hearing about new settlements, and believe a two-state solution with Palestine is essential for all involved. The findings were revealed in a survey of Britain’s Jews, conducted by the liberal Jewish organisation Yachad, which campaigns to promote peace in the region. The survey was conducted by a team of academics on a sample of 1,131 British Jews from all parts of the political spectrum… READ MORE »