By BERNIE BELLAN A new poll conducted by the Leger Marketing Group for Postmdedia reveals not only that most Canadians don’t pay attention to news about Israel, only slightly more Canadians have a favorable impression of Israel than an unfavorable one.
The poll was conducted from April 14-16, 2023, and surveyed 1549 Canadians. According to Leger, “Using data from the 2021 Census, results were weighted according to region, age and gender within Canada, as well as by education and presence of children in the household in order to ensure a representative sample of the population.
“For comparison purposes, a probability sample of 1549 respondents would have a margin of error of ±2.5%,19 times out of 20.”
Here are some of the key findings of the survey:
- Most Canadians do not follow and keep up to date with news about Israel – just 23% do, and only 6% follow very closely.
- Men are significantly more likely to follow news about Israel than women, as are Canadians who identify as BIPoC (vs. Caucasian.)
- Canadians have decidedly mixed impressions of Israel: 33% have a favourable impression while 28% see the country in an unfavourable light. Almost 4 in 10 (38%) are unsure how they feel about the country.
- Men (vs. women) are significantly more likely to have a favourable impression of Israel. Canadians who follow news about Israel closely are more likely to have an impression (positive or negative) compared to those who don’t follow the news. Albertans are least likely to have an unfavourable impression of Israel compared to the rest of Canada.
- The Arab-Israeli Conflict / regional instability and tensions are top of mind for older Canadians (aged 55+) and those with an unfavourable impression of the country. Historic sites in the region are identified often by Canadians with a positive impression of the country. Military/defense is mentioned more often by men, those who follow Israeli news closely, and those who have an unfavourable impression of Israel
- Canadian opinion is somewhat ambivalent toward the UN’s creation of Israel in 1948. More than one-third feel that establishing the state of Israel in 1948 was the right thing to do; 20% say it was not and 44% are uncertain.
- Men and those who follow news about Israel are more likely to have an opinion (pro or con) about establishing Israel in 1948. Canadians aged 55+ and those with a favourable impression of the country feel establishing the state of Israel was the correct thing to do. Eastern Canadians (vs. those in the West) and those with an unfavourable impression believe it was not the right thing to do.
- Over 4 in 10 Canadians (44%) feel their government should continue to support the existence of Israel. Two in 10 feel the Canadian Government should stop supporting Israel.
- Over four-in-ten Canadians (44%) support the Government of Canada taking deliberate efforts to strengthen its relationship with Israel; 24% are in opposition. One-third of respondents don’t know.
- 5% of Canadians in our survey have been to Israel, but two-in-ten hope to visit one day.