"The Board has some considerable reservations about the methodology of this poll. And we don’t think that it is a particularly accurate reflection of the actual position," Jonathan Arkush, a vice-President of the Board which unites representatives of British Jewish communities told Sputnik, commenting on the CAA study.
The study suggests that amongst British citizens almost half hold anti-Semitic views. In addition, the Anti-Semitism Barometer found that almost 70 percent of British Jews said that the Jewish community has to protect itself because the state does not protect it enough, while 54 percent feared they had no future in the country.
"In fact in most cases the statements which were put to British people asking whether they agreed with them, the great majority of the British people, about 80 percent, said they did not agree with them. So I don’t think that the poll itself is a very good basis to draw conclusions," Arkush said.
He explained that the poll asked a series of leading questions, which suggested an answer, which is not a proper way of gauging public opinion.
"The poll which found that over half of British public had some anti-Semitic views has some justification, but we regard it as being equally applicable to members of the British public having rather casual prejudice against other minorities as well," Arkush told Sputnik.
The CAA study consisted of two parts – one was commissioned by the YouGov global research company and questioned almost 3,500 adult UK residents. The other part was CAA’s poll into the British Jewish community’s reaction to anti-Semitism, which states that "more than half of all British Jews feel that antisemitism now echoes the 1930s." The CAA polled almost 1 percent of the Jewish population of Great Britain, or 2,230 Jews.
Jonathan Arkush told Sputnik that the latter part of the survey involved the CAA asking British Jewish communities to fill in the forms, and "people who have strong views about that filled (it) in." The Board’s vice-president also noted that a much more professional and thought-through study with a respectable methodology is needed to conduct such studies.
He admitted, however, that a sharp increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the United Kingdom in 2014 is undeniable, and the main reason is that whenever there is a conflict in the Middle East, there is a spike in anti-Semitism across the globe, including in the United Kingdom.
The Jewish population in Britain stands at almost 270,000, or half of one percent of the total population, according to the 2011 census.