CJPME Survey: Canadians see Israel as an apartheid state

Today, CJPME is releasing the important results of a public opinion poll it commissioned which finds that Canadians are MUCH MORE likely to view Israel in terms of “apartheid” than they are to see it as a “vibrant democracy.” Access our full report here (or in .pdf)!


The CJPME survey found that when Canadians are presented with possible descriptions of Israel, the most popular opinion is that Israel is “a state with segregation similar to apartheid.” On the other hand, only a small minority view Israel as a “vibrant democracy.”  See and/or share our social media posts on the survey on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.  Read more below.

If you support this type of public education initiative, please consider supporting CJPME’s work.

Survey results demonstrate some political parties "out of touch"

The survey was conducted by EKOS Research Associates*, a professional polling company, and sponsored by CJPME. CJPME has published these results as Part 1 of a new survey on Canadians’ knowledge and familiarity with issues in Israel and Palestine. The remaining findings will be released in the coming months. All survey results, charts, and analysis can be found in our report entitled “Survey: Canadians view Israel as apartheid, not a vibrant democracy.”

Over recent years, human rights groups have concluded that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians amounts to apartheid, a crime under international law. However, their findings have been glibly dismissed by the Trudeau government and largely ignored by Canadian policymakers and journalists.

The survey sought to find out what average Canadians think about the democratic character of Israel, given the many competing claims. For example, in much of the recent coverage about Israel’s proposed judicial reforms, the media often describe Israel as a democracy, and fail to mention that many human rights groups consider that Israel practices apartheid against Palestinians. CJPME wanted to know what average Canadians thought.


Excluding those who responded with “I don’t know,” the largest number of Canadians who provided an answer said that they view Israel as “a state with segregation similar to apartheid” (38%), which is more than three times as many Canadians who said they view Israel as a vibrant democracy (11%).

The survey also found that:

  • Almost half (48%) of Canadians aged 18–34 view Israel as a state with segregation similar to apartheid.
  • A significant majority (64%) of NDP supporters view Israel as a state with segregation similar to apartheid, as do a majority (53%) of BQ supporters. Meanwhile, 33% of Liberal supporters view Israel in this way.
  • 0% of NDP, BQ, or GPC supporters view Israel as a vibrant democracy, while one-quarter (27%) of CPC supporters and a small minority (8%) of Liberal supporters view Israel as a vibrant democracy.

CJPME was also able to compare the results to polling data from the US. The surveys' findings indicate that Canadians are more likely than Americans to describe Israel as “apartheid” and less likely to describe Israel as a “vibrant democracy.”


CJPME’s report concludes with several recommendations to the Canadian government, urging it to acknowledge the credible reports of apartheid provided by human rights organizations and to revise its policy towards Israel to ensure that it is not contributing to crimes of apartheid against Palestinians. In this way, Canada would be aligning itself with Canadian public opinion and the international human rights consensus.

CJPME also urges journalists and news editors to cite the reports on apartheid from human rights organizations as necessary context when reporting on events in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Similarly, media should stop referring to Israel as a “democracy” as a matter of accepted fact in their reporting and analysis. 

Can you support our work?

CJPME commissioned a professional polling company to conduct this survey, and took weeks to develop the survey questions, analyze and graph the survey results data, and write the report. We could not do such work without the generous support of our donors. If you believe in such solidarity work, please consider making a gift of financial support to CJPME.  Monthly donations are especially helpful, as they sustain our ongoing work and make it easier for us to strategize for the future. If you prefer, you may also donate over the phone (438-380-5410), or complete and mail in this form. Thank you!