A majority of Britain’s young people do not believe that Israel should exist, according to a latest poll. Conducted by Focaldata for UnHerd, a worrying 54% of 18-24 year olds agree with the statement that “the state of Israel should not exist.” This was followed in agreement by 35% of 25-34 year olds and compares to just 7% of those 65 and older.

This latest poll should be a wake-up call for this nation. There could be a number of factors – the problem of widespread propaganda on social media, including on TikTok, the bias against Israel in the media, changing social trends, and the failure to teach history in schools. The Church has a role to play in reaching the next generation with the truth about Israel, because first and foremost, believing that Israel should exists is a Bible issue, not a political one. Sadly, many churches are not teaching about Israel and are reluctant to engage with young people about Israel in the current context of the conflict.

Another question presented in the poll was “Who do you blame for the war in Gaza?” Again, 18-24 year olds faired worst, with 50% blaming the Israeli government. Equally shocking, 15% of the same age group said the Israeli people.

The majority (34%) of 25-34 year olds also blamed the Israeli government. Interestingly, however, a higher percentage of 18-24 year olds blamed Hamas (25%) compared with 18% of those aged 25-34. This youngest group is the highest percentage response in blaming Hamas until 55-63 year olds. This shows that whilst attitudes towards Israel are shocking, there are signs that the views of 18-24s are quite polarised.

We also see a pattern of equal blame or ‘not sure’ increasing through the age groups. For example, in the 35-44 age group we see a shift to blaming ‘All equally’ as the highest response (33%). Then, 45-54 year olds move to “don’t know”, indicating that there is a weakening of opinion as we progress from the lower age bracket through the ages into the Millennials and up to age 54. But at the 55-64 age group, there is a dramatic shift to the majority blaming Hamas (43%).  Next, 50% of over 65s blame Hamas with 0% blaming the Israeli people and only 17% blaming the Israeli government.

CUFI’s UK Executive Director, Des Starritt, says, “The figures released by UnHerd this week provide us with a disturbing insight into views held by Britain’s young people regarding Israel. Looking ahead at what support for Israel might look like in Britain in the future, these figures reveal we are at crisis point and we must act swiftly to get the truth about Israel to the next generation before it is too late.

“We must pray that Britain’s youth will not be swayed by the flood of anti-Israel propaganda, but will develop a strong and steadfast support for the Jewish state. That is why we need Churches, youth leaders, parents, grandparents, schools and others to present the biblical truth about Israel and help nurture a love for Israel and the Jewish people. That is why CUFI exists in the UK – we need to see a reverse in the trends presented in this poll, we must raise up a generation that will stand firmly in support of Israel.”

CUFI is actively working to reach the next generation and is currently developing educational resources, which will be announced later in the year. To support CUFI in this work, please go to www.cufi.org.uk/donate