World view of Israel’s negative influence increases
By Jamal Kanj, Palestine Chronicle
In response to questions rating which country ‘… is having a mainly positive or mainly negative influence in the world?’ Israel was tie with N Korea for third place with highest negative influence on the global stage.
The 2012 BBC Country Ratings Poll was conducted jointly by GlobeScan, an international opinion research consultancy, and The Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, USA.
Respondents were asked to rate 16 countries for their “mostly positive” or “mostly negative” influence on the world. A total of 24,090 citizens in 22 countries were interviewed in late 2011 and early 2012. People’s perception was based on the world’s view of the country’s foreign and domestic policies.
Ever since commissioning the poll in 2005, Israel has solidly ranked high on the list of nations with negative influence. Israel’s perceived unfavorable influence in the world has increased from 47 to 50% in 2012.
The Spaniards negative rating of Israel led the European Union at 74%, followed by France at 65%. Britain and Germany maintained the same high negative rating level at 68% and 69 % for each.
In the Korean peninsula, the strong negative view of Israel climbed by 15 notches to 69%. Among the Chinese, Israel’s negative rating remained stable at 45%, while its positive perception dropped by 9 points to 23%.
In India, public opinion on Israel has shifted from being divided in 2011 to negative in 2012, 29% vs 17%. Russia has moved from leaning positive in 2011 to negative in 2012, 26% vs 25%.
Latin America maintained its overall negative perceptions with high majority in Chile, Peru and Mexico. Brazilian’s led South America by maintaining the same soundly unfavorable rating of Israel’s influence at 58%.
In Australia and Canada, Israel’s negative influence has increased by seven points to 65% and 59%, respectively.
As expected, the only Western nation with favorable response came from the US at 50% vs 35%.
In the only Arab country included in the polling, the negative perception of Israel increased by 7 points to 85%. Egypt is one of two Arab countries having peace agreements with Israel, topped the negative rating in the 2012 BBC polling.
Unlike the overly cosseted Israel, nations receiving high negative rating like Iran and N Korea were vilified pariah states by the West. However despite its pampering and Murdoch’s media empire, Israel still ranked equal with the mocked nations for the disgraced position.
In studying the BBC tracking poll since 2005, the correlations between the survey’s outcome and the influence of the Israeli lobby in Western countries is compelling.
In the US for instance, candid critical discussion of Israeli policies in the media is overly self-censored. Unlike EU and even Israeli papers, there is no single US nationally syndicated columnist in any major newspaper who openly challenges Israel or its lobby. Those who did were either sidelined as in the case of Buchanan and the late Novak to name few, or became jobless like UPI White House bureau manager Helen Thomas.
True American public opinion vis-à-vis Israel can be validated only after its political emancipation from Israel’s lobby. Until then, US’ sole Western positive rating of Israel remains a factor of America’s servile media and the pro-Israel election money machine.
Jamal Kanj writes frequently on Arab World issues and the author of “Children of Catastrophe, Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America”, Garnet Publishing, UK . Jamal’s articles can be read at www.jamalkanj.com.
By JPost.com staff
BBC survey measures public opinion on 22 countries, places Israel in company of North Korea, ahead of only Iran, Pakistan.
Israel retained its position as one of the world’s most negatively-viewed countries, according to BBC’s annual poll published Wednesday night.
With 50 percent of respondents ranking Israel negatively, Israel keeps company with North Korea, and places ahead of only Iran (55% negative) and Pakistan (51% negative)
The 2012 Country Ratings Poll was conducted among 24,090 people worldwide, and asked respondents to rate whether the influence of 22 countries was “mostly positive” or “mostly negative.”
Evaluations of the Jewish state, already largely unfavorable in 2011, have worsened in 2012. Out of the 22 countries polled, the majority in 17 of them view Israel negatively, while only three (the US, Nigeria and Kenya) view Israel positively. In Kenya, negative ratings of Israel fell by 10 points to 31%, while the country experienced an even larger increase in positive ratings of Israel, rising 16 points to 45%.
Negative perceptions of Israel in EU countries have continue to rise, reaching 74% in Spain (up 8%), 65% in France (up 9%), while in Germany and Britain the negative views remain high but stable (69% and 68% respectively). In other Anglo countries, perceptions of Israel are worsening, including in Australia (65%), and Canada (59%).
Among Muslim countries, perceptions of Israel have continued to deteriorate. Of particular concern for Israel is the country sitting on its southern neighbor, Egypt, where 85% of the population views Israel negatively, up 7% since 2011.
In Asian countries, public opinion on Israel is growing increasingly antagonistic. In China, just 23% of those surveyed view Israel positively compared with 45% negatively. In India, overall opinion has shifter from being divided in 2011 to leaning negatively. In South Korea, negative views of Israel rose a full 15% (to 69%), while positive views decreased 11% (to 20%)
The saving grace for Israel is United States, where the proportion of people viewing Israel negatively has decreased six points to 35% since 2011. This statistic marks the most positive views on Israel expressed in the US since tracking began in 2005.
People viewing Israel negatively around the world cite the Jewish state’s foreign policy as the main factor influencing their perception, while those who view Israel positively cite culture and Jewish traditions.
European countries and the EU have fallen sharply in worldwide popularity, an opinion poll for the BBC suggests.
The percentage of those surveyed giving positive views of EU influence dropped by an average of 8% – from 56% to 48% – since the last poll in 2011.
Views of China, on the other hand, improved significantly, allowing it to overtake the EU. Japan replaced Germany as the most popular country.
The poll by Globescan was based on the answers of about 24,000 people in 22 countries.
Respondents were asked to rate the influence in the world of 16 countries and the EU as either “mostly positive” or “mostly negative”.
Ratings of the EU and many European countries dropped across the countries surveyed in both 2011 and 2012, when 27 countries were surveyed. Positive views of Britain fell by by 6% and of France by 4%.
“The turmoil in the EU, long seen as an attractive bastion of political and economic stability, has raised doubts in people’s minds about its continued ability to be a global leader,” the head of polling company GlobeScan, Chris Coulter, said. “Hopes are turning to China.”
Germany, the most positively regarded nation last year, saw its positive ratings drop from 60% to 56%, putting it in second place behind Japan, which rose 2% to 58%.
Positive views of China rose from 46% to 50%, with the biggest rises recorded in Britain, Australia, Canada, and Germany.
Views of the US remain broadly unchanged, the poll suggests, with 47% of respondents giving positive views and 33% negative views, compared to 48% and 31% in 2010.