Israel negatively viewed, survey finds


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel is one of the most negatively viewed countries in the world, an annual BBC global survey found.

Israel was the fourth most negatively viewed country, ranking just ahead of Pakistan, North Korea and Iran, according to the poll released Monday.

In answer to the question "Please tell me if you think each of the following countries is having a mainly positive or mainly negative influence in the world," 21 percent of people interviewed for the survey viewed Israel mostly positive, with 49 percent mostly negative. The rest were neutral or undecided. Results from Israelis polled were excluded.

Positive views of Israel were up 2 percent over 2010; negative views remained the same. 

Among the 27 countries polled in 2011, 22 lean negative, two lean positive and three are divided on Israel. The countries with the most positive view of Israel were the United States, Russia, Ghana and China. 

Positive ratings by the U.S. have remained stable in the poll over last year at about 43 percent, but many more Americans, 41 percent, chose to rate Israel negatively in 2011, an increase of 10 points since 2010.

Negative perceptions grew sharper in the United Kingdom at 66 percent, up 16 points; Canada at 52 percent, up 14 points; Indonesia at 68 percent, up 12 points; Australia at 58 percent, up 11 points; Portugal at 52 percent, up 6 points; and Spain at 66 percent, up 6 points.

More than 28,000 people were interviewed for the BBC survey between December and February by the international polling firm GlobeScan and the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland.

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