Survey results shatter myths about "Ukrainian antisemites"

The Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KMIS) has presented the findings of a new survey. In the Israel-Hamas war, the preponderant majority of Ukrainians — 69 percent — sympathizes with Israel. Only 1 percent sympathizes with the other side.

Eighteen percent of respondents said that they sympathize equally with both warring sides, while 12 percent stated that they are not sure.

The analysis of survey data by the Kyiv-based sociologists, which was published on 15 December 2023, emphasizes that Russian propaganda in the West is actively exploiting the hoary myth about the supposedly high level of antisemitism among Ukrainians.

"For many years, the КМІS has been conducting research into interethnic biases, which demonstrates that the attitude toward Jews in Ukrainian society is better than toward the majority of other ethnic groups that we have studied. In December 2021 and January 2023, the KMIS carried out surveys for the Embassy of the State of Israel, which also revealed the Ukrainian public's favorable view of Israel. Fifty-two percent of respondents declared that they view Israel as a friendly state versus 13 percent who do not.

Ukrainians express solidarity with Israel after the brutal attack of 7 October, and they understand the feelings of the Israeli public in the wake of those horrific terrorist attacks.

The fact that Ukrainians mostly sympathize with Israel signifies, to a considerable degree, a value choice in favor of the free democratic world arrayed against the world of medieval terror. If the events that are unfolding in the world right now may be regarded as a clash of civilizations — between the democratic world and an alliance of authoritarian regimes — Ukrainians unambiguously identify with the former," note the Kyiv sociologists.

For comparison purposes: In the U.S., 38 percent of Americans support Israel and 11 percent support the other side; in the United Kingdom, there is equal sympathy for both warring sides (19 percent); in Russia, only 6 percent of respondents support Israel, 21 percent support its enemies, and 66 percent do not support either side.

The findings of the KMIS's latest survey reinforce the recent words of Michael Brodsky, Ambassador of Israel to Ukraine, who said that "today Ukraine is the most pro-Israeli country in Europe."

Text: Shimon Briman (Israel)
Photo: Website of the KMIS

Translated from the Ukrainian by Marta D. Olynyk