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Israel, Iran, Pakistan World's Least Popular Nations

World  (tags: Israel, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, BBC, interesting, china, europe, africa, politics, humans, world )

- 3810 days ago -
Israel, Iran, North Korea and Pakistan are widely seen as exerting the most negative influence on world affairs, according to the latest in a series of annual global surveys by the BBC's World Service on popular perceptions of the world's most powerful or


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Madalena Lobaotello (448)
Friday February 6, 2009, 7:00 am
Israel, Iran, North Korea and Pakistan are widely seen as exerting the most negative influence on world affairs, according to the latest in a series of annual global surveys by the BBC's World Service on popular perceptions of the world's most powerful or newsworthy nations.

The survey, which questioned some 13,500 respondents in 21 countries around the world, found that perceptions of Russian and Chinese influence also became considerably more negative during 2008.

At the same time, views of the United States, which rivaled those of Israel and Iran just two years ago, continued improving modestly last year but remained predominantly negative despite the victory of Barack Obama in the November 2008 presidential elections.

"Though BBC polls have shown that most people around the world are hopeful that Barack Obama will improve U.S. relations with the world, it is clear that his election alone is not enough to turn the tide," said Steven Kull, director of the University of Maryland's Programme on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA), which helped conduct the survey. "People are still looking to see if there are significant changes in U.S. policies."

Just two weeks ago, the BBC released a 17-nation poll of more than 17,000 respondents, two out of three of whom said they expected U.S. relations with the world to improve under an Obama presidency.

The 21 countries covered in the latest survey, most of which was conducted in December, included the three nations of North America - Canada, the U.S., and Mexico; representative samples from the five Spanish-speaking countries of Central America; and Chile. European countries included Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, and Turkey.

Respondents also included citizens from China, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, and Australia in the greater Asian region. Polling also took place in Egypt, Ghana, and Nigeria.

Respondents were given a list of 15 nations and asked whether they thought those countries exercised a "mainly positive" or "mainly negative" influence on the world. The list included the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Japan, North Korea, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Israel, and South Africa. The European Union (EU) was also included. Respondents could also volunteer that they were neutral or didn't know or care to express a clear opinion one way or the other.

As in last year's survey, Germany topped the favourable list, with an average of 61 percent of respondents describing its influence as "mainly positive" and only 15 percent who said it was "mainly negative". Canada placed second with 57 percent positive and 14 percent negative; followed by Britain (58 percent positive, 19 percent negative), Japan (56 percent, 23 percent negative), and France (51 percent positive, 21 percent negative).

At the other end of the scale, the most negatively viewed country was Iran with an average of 55 percent of respondents describing its influence as mainly negative and 17 percent as mainly positive. Pakistan was narrowly ahead with 55 percent negative and 17 percent positive, just behind Israel (51 percent negative, 21 percent positive), and North Korea (48 percent negative, 20 percent positive).

At the same time, however, pluralities or majorities in 19 out of the 21 countries rated Israel negatively - the two exceptions being the U.S. (47 percent positive, 34 percent negative) and Russia (24 percent positive, 21 percent negative). Views about Israel were most negative in Egypt (87 percent), Spain (71 percent), Turkey (70 percent), Australia (67 percent), and Germany (65 percent), according to the survey, which was completed before Israel's widely criticised military campaign against Gaza.

By contrast, 14 of the 21 countries saw Iran's influence as mainly negative. Although only India leaned toward seeing it in a mainly positive light (24 percent positive, 19 percent negative), five other countries were split, notably China, Indonesia, Ghana, Nigeria, and Mexico. At the same time, the survey found sharp increases in the perception of Tehran's negative influence in Egypt, the U.S. and the Philippines, compared to the previous year.

Eighteen countries had mainly negative views of Pakistan's influence, according to the survey, almost all of which was conducted just after the attack on Mumbai, India, widely believed to have been carried out by Pakistani-based guerrillas.

Among the great powers, the survey found that Russia's ratings fell the most significantly in the course of the year, no doubt due in major part to its military intervention in Georgia in August. Only 30 percent of respondents on average said they viewed Moscow's influence positively, down by five percent compared to last year, while negatives rose from 34 percent to 42 percent.

In 13 of the 21 countries polled, the view of Russia was most commonly negative, while in only four countries, most notably China (74 percent positive) and India (39 percent positive, 12 percent negative), were they found to be predominantly positive. Positive views fell particularly sharply in Britain, while negative views grew steeply in the U.S., France, Germany, Egypt, Turkey, and Nigeria.

"...The more (Russia) acts like the old Soviet Union, the less people outside its borders seem to like it," noted Doug Miller, the chairman of GlobeScan, a private firm that also helped design and oversee the survey. The latest poll revealed that the U.S. had surpassed Russia in positive ratings - at 40 percent - for the first time since 2005, although the negative ratings of both were roughly equal.

Despite holding a successful Olympics, China's influence on world affairs was also rated increasingly negatively in the latest survey which found world opinion roughly evenly split (39 percent positive, 40 percent negative). Views of China were most positive among developing countries, notably Ghana (75 percent), Nigeria (72 percent), and Central America, Chile, and Egypt (62 percent). Negative views grew most significantly in Western Europe, Turkey, the Philippines, and Australia.

In the U.S., views of China remained relatively stable over the past year (32 percent positive, 52 percent negative), as they did in Russia (45 percent positive, 18 percent negative).

Views of the U.S. showed improvements in Canada, Egypt, Ghana, India, Italy and Japan. On the other hand, twice as many countries still held predominantly negative views of the U.S. than predominantly positive views. Countries with the most negative views included Germany and Russia (65 percent); Central America (64 percent); Turkey (63 percent); China (58 percent); Australia (56 percent); and Washington's closest neighbours: Canada (55 percent), and Mexico (54 percent).



Gillian M (218)
Friday February 6, 2009, 3:04 pm
Interesting that the country that supplies so much to the world is regarded so negatively. Israel has provided the intel chip, MRI, micro cameras to be swollowed, new methods of agriculture, aid to stricken countries before anyone else regardless of the religion of the country etc Israel also supplies intelligence to Western worlds to prevent terrorism.

Remember next time you talk to someone on instant messaging you will be using an Israeli invention and if you go to hospital it is very likely you will be helped because of a procedure or a scientific invention developed by Israel.

Imagine what Israelis could do without being at war all the time having been so ever since its inception.

Tim Redfern (581)
Friday February 6, 2009, 11:14 pm
Bravo, Gillian!
There's nothing I can add to that.
Thanks, Mada.

Lars K (222)
Saturday February 7, 2009, 1:41 pm

TECHNICAL SKILLS are no excuse for intentionally targeting and killing innocent civilians as Israel has done in Gaza. Simple as that.

Lars K (222)
Saturday February 7, 2009, 2:14 pm

PLEASE NOTICE that the survey was done before Israels military campaign in Gaza. That campaign certainly did noting to improve Israel's bad reputation in the world.

Bob E (113)
Sunday February 8, 2009, 6:49 pm
Gillian M.
Get a life... Get a real life... You think Israel has invented everything, say in the hospital... There are thousands of kinds of medical equipment in hospitals and you say Israel invented them. You are so proud?
The US and others have invented 1000:1 compared to Israel. GET REAL... Where and how do you come up with these things?

Blue Bunting (855)
Monday February 16, 2009, 10:26 am
It's all been planned months ago ...

Israel Rehearses Iran Attack

U.S. intelligence analysts say that nearly 100 Israeli warplanes staged a rehearsal air strike against nuclear facilities in Iran. David Martin reports from the Pentagon.

Madalena Lobaotello (448)
Monday February 16, 2009, 12:05 pm

Locan Sleeping-Squirrel (209)
Wednesday March 4, 2009, 4:55 am
No one is above the law.


Madalena Lobaotello (448)
Wednesday March 4, 2009, 6:01 am
I agree 100% with you!
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