Israel is the worst 'brand' in the world, according to a poll that measured the international perception of 36 nations in a quarterly index.
The Nation Brands Index (NBI), meant to indicate "how the world sees the world", was authored by government advisor Simon Anholt – considered a nations brands expert - and powered by Global Market Insite, Inc.
The Index surveyed over 25,000 online consumers across 35 countries about their perceptions of those countries across six areas of national competence: Investment and Immigration, Exports, Culture and Heritage, People, Governance and Tourism.
Each time, there is an additional 'guest' nation, whose citizens are also asked to give their opinion about their own country. In the third quarter, coinciding with the Lebanon war, the guest was Israel.
Israel was ranked last, coming in after countries such as Indonesia (34), Egypt (29) and China (19). The United Kingdom was ranked first, followed by Germany and Italy.
"Israel's brand is by a considerable margin the most negative we have ever measured in the NBI, and comes bottom of the ranking on almost every question," stated Anholt.
Anholt, who believes that the politics of a nation can affect every single aspect of a person's perception about a country, said that to succeed in permanently changing the country's image, Israel must be prepared to change its behavior.
"If Israel's intention is to promote itself as a desirable place to live and invest in, the challenge appears to be a steep one," he concluded.
'Most unwelcoming people in the world'
Americans, for example, ranked Israel just slightly above China in terms of conduct in the areas of international peace and security.
Respondents as a whole listed Israel last among placed they would like to visit and its people were also voted the "most unwelcoming in the world."
Israel's lowest scores gave from Egypt, who ranked Israel at the bottom of the list in all categories, save contributions to science and technology. Surprisingly, the Russians gave Israel its highest scores in
almost all categories.
The 35 countries polled for the study were: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, and the USA