Israel one of world’s most unpopular countries and it’s getting worse says BBC survey 7Jun13 June 7, 2013

by Ali Abunimah    -   The Electronic Intifada    -    6 June 2013

imagesIsrael is not only one of the world’s most negatively viewed countries, but its reputation is deteriorating, according to the BBC World Service’s latest global survey.

The US is now the only Western country that holds favorable views of Israel and in some European countries, including Germany, positive views of Israel are in the single digits.

The 2013 Country Ratings Poll, conducted by GlobeScan/PIPA for the BBC among 26,299 people around the world between December 2012 and April 2013 found that:

Iran is once again the most negatively viewed country, with negative ratings climbing four points to 59%. Most people also give negative ratings to Pakistan (56%, up five points), North Korea (55%, up three points) and Israel (52%, up one point).

The persistent association of Israel with the world’s most negatively viewed countries will come as a disappointment to Israeli government and other hasbara officials who have invested millions of dollars in recent years to greenwash and pinkwash Israel as an enlightened, democratic and technological “Western” country.

US is only western country with favorable views of Israel

And the news only gets worse. Here are some of the highlights from the BBC poll:

  • On average, in the 22 tracking countries surveyed both in 2012 and 2013, 52 per cent of respondents had negative views of Israel’s influence in the world, an increase of two points from last year.
  • Out of the 25 countries polled in 2013, 20 lean negative, three lean positive, and two are divided.
  • The United States is the only Western country surveyed holding favorable views of Israel, and the only country in the survey with a majority of positive ratings (51%, stable).
  • Views of Israel in Canada and in Australia remain entrenched in negative territory with respectively 57 and 69 per cent of unfavourable views.
  • In the EU countries surveyed, views of Israeli influence are all strongly negative and have either hardened further or remained stable.
  • The United Kingdom is the most unfavorable country towards Israel in the EU with 72 per cent of Britons holding negative ratings.
  • The UK is followed by Spain (70% negative) where views have deteriorated due to a loss of positive ratings, now at just 4 per cent (down from 12%).
  • Positive views have dropped eight points in Germany over the past year, down to 8 per cent in 2013 while negative inclinations have remained stable at 67 per cent.
  • In France, the picture is stable with 21 per cent giving positive views (vs 63% negative) France is the EU country with the highest proportion of favourable ratings.
  • Newly asked countries Poland and Greece have negative pluralities of 44 and 46 per cent respectively, while just 15 per cent lean positively towards Israel in both countries.

Also see from last year: “Israel’s popularity sinks even lower in 2012, new BBC global survey confirms.”

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