Israel is one of the least popular countries in the world, according to a survey conducted by Globescan for the BBC in 27 different states.
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.
Germany was found to be the most popular country, and Britain was ranked second on the list. Brazil jumped from 40% to 49% support and South Africa, which hosted the World Cup in 2010, also improved its status.
The US improved its standing for the fourth year running, but lagged behind Canada, the EU, Japan, France, and Brazil. It received negative responses mainly from Muslim states, such as Pakistan, Turkey, and Egypt.
The US saw a turn for the better in Indonesia, however, where 58% expressed positive views of the country, possibly due to President Barack Obama's recent visit.