Monday, March 7, 2011

BBC Global poll: Israel seen most positively by Chinese and Americans

Israel, which has always ranked close to the bottom in the BBC survey, was the only one of the four for which negative views diminished – albeit by only two percentage points – in 2010, according to the annual BBC World Service Country Rating Poll released Monday.

More than 28,000 people were polled between December of 2010 and February of this year in a survey designed to gauge attitudes towards various countries worldwide.

Just 21% of those polled expressed a positive opinion of Israel, while 49% expressed a negative attitude towards the Jewish state. However dismal, the numbers are still an improvement from last year, when just 19% were pro-Israel.

Of the 17 countries included in the survey, only three were found to be less popular than Israel – Pakistan, North Korea, and Iran – with 17% and 16% of those polled supporting them, respectively. More than 55% of those polled expressed a negative attitude towards these states.

The countries in which the majority of residents showed a positive opinion of Israel were few. In the US, 43% supported Israel while 41% opposed the state, in Russia the ratio was 35% to 27%, in Ghana 32% to 27%, and in India 21% to 18%.

The other 23 countries polled revealed a vast majority of people opposing the Jewish state. China was the only country in which support for Israel grew – by 10% - but it remained at a ratio of 40% to 48%. In many Western countries – Britain, Canada, Australia, Spain, and Portugal – support was found to be waning.