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Date: 2019
Author(s): Staetsky, L. Daniel
Date: 2019
Abstract: Is criticism of Israel antisemitic? Do anti-Israel views and attitudes constitute a “new antisemitism”? These questions have occupied the minds of many academics and pubic intellectuals – both Jewish and non-Jewish – since the beginning of the twenty-first century. So far, no consensus has emerged. The definitions of antisemitism are many but all have been contested to varying degrees. This paper offers a brief survey of the definitions of antisemitism and the way in which these definitions accommodate anti-Israel and/or anti-Zionist views and attitudes. This is done, however, by way of introduction and without any assessment of the quality of the definitions in scientific terms, or their acceptability in political terms. The overview simply provides the background and the motivation for the main subject of the paper. The Jewish public’s perception of the link between antisemitism and anti-Israel/anti-Zionist attitudes forms the main focus of this paper. This is, to my knowledge, the first time that this subject has been treated in a strictly empirical, quantitative manner using large datasets.

What does the Jewish public, as opposed to the intellectual elite, think about the link between antisemitism and anti-Zionism? This question has so far remained unexplored, and in this paper I attempt to answer it utilising a newly created dataset. In summer 2012, a survey of experiences and perceptions of antisemitism among Jews took place in selected European countries.

Using advanced statistical techniques, it is possible to explore the extent to which the Jewish public makes a distinction between classic antisemitic and anti-Israel/anti-Zionist statements. Are anti-Israel/anti-Zionist statements perceived as antisemitic by Jews? Are they perceived to be antisemitic to the same extent as other, more classic, antisemitic statements? The paper addresses these questions focusing on the British and French samples of Jews, and comparing and contrasting insights produced by these two contexts.
Author(s): Staetsky, L. Daniel
Date: 2019
Abstract: Communal anxieties about the possibility of an inadequate supply of secondary school places in Jewish schools in London have, on occasion, run high, and have occurred against a context of demographic changes and an increase in preference for Jewish schooling. These seemingly unpredictable dynamics have made planning very difficult and this new study helps to bring some empiricism to the table.

This statistical study, authored by JPR Senior Research Fellow, Dr Daniel Staetsky, and supported by Partnerships for Jewish Schools (PaJeS), uses an empirical approach to predict future levels of demand for mainstream Jewish secondary schools in and around London. Using Local Authority data to examine applications and admissions from 2011 to 2018, it projects forward to the academic year 2022/23 in order to support future planning.

It is a follow-up to previous work in this area, and it draws on observations from the field that allow us to assess the accuracy of that work and to extend our projections further into the future.

The study concludes that current levels of provision will be sufficient if the demand in the next four years remains at today’s levels. Whilst this is a possibility, two of three possible scenarios presented in the report suggest an increase in demand, at a level in which about fifty additional places will be required across the entire Jewish secondary school system in London. Given this projected scale of increase, the report recommends that schools should develop some flexibility in capacity to satisfy the increasing demand. That might mean preparedness to open an extra class, as and when required, rather than to open an entirely new school.
Author(s): Staetsky, L. Daniel
Date: 2017
Abstract: This study takes an in-depth look at attitudes towards Jews and Israel among the population of Great Britain, both across society as a whole, and in key subgroups within the population, notably the far-left, the far-right, Christians and Muslims.

It introduces the concept of the ‘elastic view’ of antisemitism, arguing that as antisemitism is an attitude, it exists at different scales and levels of intensity. Thus no single figure can capture the level of antisemitism in society, and all figures need to be carefully explained and understood.

It finds that only a small proportion of British adults can be categorised as ‘hard-core’ antisemites – approximately 2% – yet antisemitic ideas can be found at varying degrees of intensity across 30% of British society. Whilst this categorically does not mean that 30% of the British population is antisemitic, it does demonstrate the outer boundary of the extent to which antisemitic ideas live and breathe in British society. As such, it goes some way towards explaining why British Jews appear to be so concerned about antisemitism, as the likelihood of them encountering an antisemitic idea is much higher than that suggested by simple measures of antisemitic individuals. In this way, the research draws an important distinction between ‘counting antisemites’ and ‘measuring antisemitism’ – the counts for each are very different from one another, and have important implications for how one tackles antisemitism going forward.

The research finds that levels of anti-Israelism are considerably higher than levels of anti-Jewish feeling, and that the two attitudes exist both independently of one another and separately. However, the research also demonstrates that the greater the intensity of anti-Israel attitude, the more likely it is to be accompanied by antisemitic attitudes as well.

Looking at subgroups within the population, the report finds that levels of antisemitism and anti-Israelism among Christians are no different from those found across society as a whole, but among Muslims they are considerably higher on both counts. On the political spectrum, levels of antisemitism are found to be highest among the far-right, and levels of anti-Israelism are heightened across all parts of the left-wing, but particularly on the far-left. In all cases, the higher the level of anti-Israelism, the more likely it is to be accompanied by antisemitism. Yet, importantly, most of the antisemitism found in British society exists outside of these three groups – the far-left, far-right and Muslims; even at its most heightened levels of intensity, only about 15% of it can be accounted for by them.
Date: 2015
Abstract: An important study using UK Census data to assess how the composition of the British Jewish population is likely to change over the coming decades.

UK Census data continues to be by far and away the most comprehensive and valuable dataset that exists on the UK Jewish population as a whole. Whilst the census does not capture the entire Jewish population, census data allow us to examine the socio-demographic characteristics of the Jewish population in greater detail than any other source. In this report, we utilise these data to explore how the numerical balance between the 'mainstream' and the strictly Orthodox (haredi) Jewish population is shifting over time, and what the age profiles and total fertility rates of both groups indicate about the future.

In particular, we highlight how the haredi population is growing at an extraordinarily fast rate, due to its rare combination of high fertility and low mortality. By contrast, the non-haredi Jewish population is declining, not least due to its below replacement level fertility. We note how these measures, combined with an analysis of population momentum over time, help us to develop a probable picture of a future in which the haredi population will become an increasingly large part of the whole.

Whilst this is a demographic certainty, the report also notes that 30% of all haredi adults are aged 15-24. Proportions at this type of level in other populations worldwide have been associated by political scientists and demographers with a range of social problems, not least due to the existence of large numbers of young people who are unemployed or on low incomes. There is no suggestion here that haredi Jews are likely to succumb to the worst of these problems – on the contrary, the community has very high levels of social cohesion and a large number of mechanisms that help to counteract these – but the possibility of increased apathy, disillusionment or abandonment of a strictly Orthodox lifestyle should not be dismissed. Indeed, examined from a demographic perspective, these types of possibilities represent the clearest and most obvious risks facing the haredi community.

In presenting a probable picture of the future of the British Jewish population as a whole, the findings in this report should be utilised for the specific purposes JPR intended: to help Jewish community leaders, operating either within the haredi or the non-haredi sectors, to develop policy to respond to the various challenges that are highlighted.
Author(s): Staetsky, L.
Date: 2011
Date: 2015
Abstract: In the aftermath of the spike in antisemitic incidents during the war in Gaza in summer 2014, and the Islamist attacks on Jews in Brussels, Paris and Copenhagen, there is growing concern about rising antisemitism in Europe. Yet, as this paper shows, existing data present a complex and multi-faceted picture of reality, proving some existing hypotheses beyond any reasonable doubt, but challenging others.

It is clear, for example, that spikes in antisemitic incidents occur when war breaks out in Gaza – all data sources from multiple countries and both Jewish and non-Jewish sources show this. However, it is far less clear whether or not levels of antisemitism are rising over time in the UK: different sources of data tell competing stories, and the absence of trend data on patterns of reporting among British Jews makes it difficult to draw any firm conclusions. We can see that antisemitic sentiment is particularly strong among certain sub-groups within the population, but we can also see that, taken as a whole, British adults hold largely favourable attitudes towards Jews, at levels that place Britain among the least antisemitic countries in the world.

Nevertheless, the data indicate that significant proportions of Jews in the UK and elsewhere are concerned about antisemitism. But it is evident that more work needs to be done to understand the targets of this concern – where the threats lie, and the nature and scale of the problems that exist.

In general, the report maintains that research data on antisemitism in the UK vary in quality, and despite a recent flurry of research activity, many of the outputs seem to generate far more heat than light. We argue that much more work needs to be done in coordinating research efforts, maximising the value of existing datasets, focusing on the areas of greatest concern, and ensuring that any data collected and analysed are strongly concentrated on the most important policy questions: understanding the threat, and providing genuine policy insights for international, national and Jewish communal leaders, as well as Jews more generally.
Date: 2017
Date: 2014
Abstract: Based on data commissioned by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and gathered and analysed by JPR's academic team, this is the first in a series of reports looking at the perceptions and experiences of antisemitism among Jews in different EU Member States.

This report, focusing on Jews in the UK, demonstrates that Jews feel more secure in the UK than elsewhere, but that Orthodox Jews are measurably more anxious about, and susceptible to antisemitic incidents, than non-Orthodox Jews.

It shows that over half of all Orthodox Jews in Britain are worried about becoming a victim of an antisemitic act, and that they are more than twice as likely as non-Orthodox Jews to have experienced antisemitic harassment or discrimination.

Close to two-thirds of Orthodox Jews believe antisemitism to be a problem in the UK, compared with under half of non-Orthodox Jews, and four in ten of the Orthodox avoid certain places out of fear for their safety as Jews, compared to a quarter of the non-Orthodox.

However, in general, the report shows that levels of antisemitism in the UK are significantly lower than in other Western European countries, and that Jews in Britain feel noticeably less anxious about it than elsewhere on the continent.

Further issues explored in the report include data on how Jews define antisemitism, levels of reporting of different types of antisemitic incidents, and attitudes towards legislation on brit milah (circumcision) and shechita (the methods used under Jewish law to kill animals to produce kosher meat).
Date: 2014
Date: 2016
Abstract: The number of Jewish children in Jewish schools has almost doubled since the mid-1990s, rising from 16,700 then to over 30,000 now, while the number of Jewish schools has jumped from 62 to 139 over the same period.

The report is the first in a series of studies being produced by the new partnership between the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, cooperating on the collection, analysis and publication of key community statistics.

The results of the study show that the majority of the 30,900 Jewish children studying in Jewish schools in 2014/15 were in haredi schools (17,500, or 57%), whilst the remainder (13,400, or 43%) were in mainstream schools. Twenty years ago, the equivalent proportions were 45% strictly Orthodox, 55% mainstream. The shifting balance provides further evidence of the changing composition of the British Jewish community.

The growth in the haredi sector is particularly striking. There are three times as many haredi schools in the UK today as there were twenty years ago, educating 10,000 more children between them.

However, the overall increase in enrolment is not exclusively due to the growth of the haredi population. A significant part of the upsurge can also be explained by developments in the non-haredi or ‘mainstream’ sector.

More than four out of ten mainstream Jewish school-age children are now studying in Jewish schools, compared with just a quarter twenty years ago. In numerical terms, that constitutes an increase of over 4,000 children. To accommodate this increase, there are 11 more Jewish schools operating in the mainstream sector than there were in the mid-1990s. Collectively, about 85% of all pupils studying in them are Jewish.

From a geographical perspective, Jewish pupil enrolment in mainstream schools in London and the surrounding areas has been growing steadily over the past twenty years, increasing by 72% since the mid-1990s. By contrast, Jewish pupil enrolment in mainstream Jewish schools outside of London has declined by 23% over the same period. In short, the mainstream Jewish school sector has become increasingly London-centric.

The geographical dynamics are very different in the haredi sector. Whilst the majority of pupils in the strictly Orthodox sector are still attending schools in London, the number in Manchester has more than trebled over the past twenty years, and the city has increased its share of haredi pupils from one in five to one in four of the total. Thus, numbers in the haredi school sector reveal a shift towards Manchester.