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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Should we really worry about the BBC poll?

The BBC World Service's popularity poll is out again, and once again, Israel is being viewed negatively in Europe and other Muslim countries. The only countries that are viewed as being more of a negative influence on the world are Iran and Pakistan, and we're tied with North Korea, which contributes probably about a millionth as much technology to the world as we do.
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%).
Sorry guys, but I really can't get excited about this.

Five years ago, Haaretz's Bradley Burston called this poll biased, saying that it was like asking parents whom on the block they wanted as their children's playmates. Parents aren't going to want their kids playing with someone who gets into fights regardless of the reason. Even if it's not that person's fault.

But then anything with a negative rating for Israel suits the Beeb's agenda anyway, doesn't it?

So, no, I really don't care about this poll. And yes, the reference to 'Europe and other Muslim countries' was intentional. I look forward to seeing Europe turned back to the dark ages and becoming just a s***ty little continent (to paraphrase a former French ambassador to England) we fly over on the way to the US. They more than deserve it.

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