Israel placed second place on the list of least favorable countries in the eyes of the British, according to the study. The only country more hated than Israel on the unfavorable list was North Korea, with Iran taking third place after Israel.
The Chatham House study showed a stark rise in unfavorable feelings toward Israel. Of the respondents, 17% gave Israel a negative score in 2012, which jumped to 35% in 2014 – an 18-point rise.
- UK envoy: British public opinion against Israel
However, Israel was also listed on the list of most favorable countries. Israel was in 8th place on the favorable list, between South Africa and South Korea. On the list of countries favored by the British, Israel had a 1-point rise between 2012 and 2014.
Thus, it could be gathered that while there is a community in Britain that remains supportive of Israel, the unfavorable feelings towards Israel are growing more rapidly.
A look at when the study was conducted could point to the reason behind the rise in negative sentiments – the findings were gathering in August of 2014, following the IDF's Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.
Another country that appeared in the top 10 of both the least favored and most favored list was Israel's close ally, the United States. Yet, it seems the country is more loved than hated in Britain overall as it ranks 3rd on the most favored list and 9th on the least favored least. The US dropped one percentage point between 2012 and 2014 on the most favored last and gained one point in the two-year span on the less favorable list.
Iran, although still viewed unfavorably by the Brits, went down from a negative response from 45% of those polled in 2012 to 33% in 2014. Unfavorable feelings also decreased towards Pakistan, the fourth on the list, from 32% in 2012 to 28% in 2014.
Other countries that joined Israel in the list of the ten least favorable nations include Pakistan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, China, and Egypt.
In Europe, the British favored the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway but disliked Russia, Ukraine and Turkey.