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Britons rank israel worst country

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Britons rank Israel 'worst country'
Atarah Haber, THE JERUSALEM POST Jan. 4, 2005

British people rate Israel as the country least deserving of international respect, as well as one of the world's "least democratic countries," according to a recent survey.

Research company 'YouGov' carried out a survey for the British Telegraph, asking Britons to rate almost two-dozen countries on the basis of 12 different criteria.

The online survey was carried out on 2,058 adults across Great Britain between December 17 and 20.
The respondents were required to rate the three best and three worst countries according to those criteria.

Israel was ranked number one country where British people would least like to live or visit on holiday. Out of several other criteria measured, Russia alone scored lower overall than Israel.

Israel gained the title of the world's least beautiful country and New Zealand the prettiest.

In addition, Israel was rated the most unfriendly country after France and Germany.

Australia, New Zealand and Canada were among the most favored countries.

Results regarding America were mixed, with 19 percent of Britons regarding the US as "most deserving of international respect," and 25% rating America as "least deserving of international respect."

More Britons ranked America as the least safe country than those who thought the same of Israel, Egypt or South Africa.

In response to the poll, Zvi Hefetz, Israel's ambassador to England, told Channel 2 that the poll was "not a big deal."

"I would not give it too much attention. Polls are a dangerous thing anyway. Other polls show that 49% of Britons wouldn't even like to live in their own country.

"I think this poll does more injustice to the British than it does to Israel," Hefetz said.

Israel's Tourism Ministry said some 131,000 Britons visited Israel in 2004, a 44% increase from 2003.

United Jewish Israel Appeal UK spokesperson, Beverley Kaye, commented to The Jerusalem Post that "this survey showed an interesting perspective bearing in mind the small sample number, which represents the number of Telegraph readers in the UK."

Talkback (moderated). Please include your first and last names, your city and country.
Greg McDaniel, Sacramento, California : The complete opposition of views between Americans and British regarding Israel are striking and reveal the deeper issue of anti-Semitism in Europe. One's view of Israel cannot help but be colored by one's religious beliefs. If you believe the Biblical prophecies regarding the re-establishment of the Jewish state after long exile, then it's hard not to see that re-establishment as a miracle and enthusiastically support it. More than a referendum on how Brits feel about Israel, it shows the decline of Britain into the Godless malaise of continental Europe; and thus an unwarranted hatred of anything Jewish.

Jackson Eskew: This poll says everything about the degeneration of British society and very little about Israel. For a devastating account of Britain's social decline, see Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass, by Theodore Dalrymple. It is absolutely devastating and highly illuminating.

Christopher Neal Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA: My basis for evaluation is purely subjective, but I truly question the results of the poll. After all, remember that our own presidential exit polls on the day of the election showed Kerry clearly the winner. Instead I fall back on my own experience from visits in both countries where my interaction with their citizens were equally pleasant and rewarding. I was literally overwhelmed by sharing and supportive people everywhere I visited. And although vastly different, I was (and still am) awestruck with the beauty in both countries. From the villages in the Cotswold's to the majesty of Jerusalem, and from the stark beauty of the Yorkshire Dales to the overwhelming experience of Masada, who can fail to be inspired for a lifetime? If we continue to seek the differences and the worst in our world, we will find it. Instead, I have experienced the similarities in both countries, and they are outstanding!

Mike Gallagher Cape Coral, Florida USA: As an American of Irish descent, with lots of dear English friends, I used to feel bad about the way many of them, without even noticing it, made it clear that they thought the Irish were a lower form of life. Then one day I woke up and realized that the English think the same thing about everyone else in the world!

Raymond Yu, Manchester, UK: It's funny every single reply posted online supports the same view - your view! What happened to balanced reporting? Wake up!!! It's not just the Brits but the majority of the world save for America that thinks Israel is a shitty little country that causes more trouble than it's worth.

Sami Ambar, New York, USA: I went to a British boarding school from the age of 6 to 16 and I can vouch that the British, like the rest of Europe, are generally ingrained anti-Semites. Also, with all the Moslem immigrants, the country and the politicians are now being turned against Israel. In the early 1940's my mother was invited to dance by a British soldier. While dancing, she asked him whether he liked Tel Aviv. He responded: "I don't like the people." So my mother left him alone on the dance floor and walked off.

Stanley Feldman Charleston, South Carolina (former British colony), USA: How ironic! Probably, no country in modern history has done more to screw up the world than England. I would place British Imperialism and colonialism as the number one cause(s) of the problems in the Middle East today. One example, among many, is 1950s Iran. My point is simply that we must "consider the source." Although I am sending this response, I am not sure that the poll merits one.

Tom Zahay, Gilbert, Arizona USA: I can tell that most of the people polled had never been to Canada in the winter, or they would rate Russia higher then they did.

David Medlocke, Washington, DC: Israel is a beautiful country. Earth is a beautiful planet. Conflict over human interpretation of what created us and who was the first to discover this entity is ugly because even if someone thinks they are right it doesn't necessarily mean that they are. I am anti-monotheism so I am anti-Jewish; I am anti-religious state so I am anti-Israel. However, I am not against any ethnic group securing their borders by any means necessary regardless of public opinion because security is a fundamental need of the human condition in civilization. I reside in a country where I am allowed to feel this way and let my position be known without too much fear for me and my loved ones security. This is not the case in many other places in the world. Prideful ignorance is what makes a country ugly; every geographic region in the world has tremendous natural beauty. You just might have to look harder in some places than others because years of human bickering can make landscapes very ugly.

Norman Williams, USA: Oh for the days when the British were known for their intelligence. I doubt the people who answered the survey are going anyplace.

James Hassinger Saint Louis, Missouri,US: One of the most common errors with surveys occurs during the selection of the sample. The essential principal is that the sample must be truly random for the survey to be representative of the population. If the sample is not random, then bias is introduced and the survey is not valid. Furthermore, since not all selected will elect to respond, measures must be taken during the statistical analysis to ensure that the survey continues to represent the population as a whole. Editors should be careful to ensure the results are valid, or at least come from a reputable agency, and ensure that the survey methodology (sample selection techniques, relevant population demographics, etc.) and statistical analysis (confidence interval, sample size) is included in the article. I'm not worried about the validity of the survey results. They may or may not be valid. We'll probably never know for certain. I'm more concerned about readers who form unrealistically strong opinions using what may very well be invalid results.

Gary Sugar : Interesting reactions. When the whole world except America told South Africa it was wrong, the Afrikaners still thought they were right. When the whole world except Russia told Serbia it was wrong, the Serbs still thought they were right. Likewise, when the whole world except America tells Israel it's wrong, the Israelis still think they're right. The difference between America and the rest of the world is that America is the only country in the world with a fundamentalist majority that still believes the Bible is literally true.

David Cohen, Tel Aviv, Israel:I understand we get to do the Telegraph's crosswords, but does it really mean we need to take their survey seriously. Of the three most beautiful countries the Brits managed to slip in three of their ageing empires gems, and the majority of those who voted probably got no closer to the three nations than viewing photographs. It is also strikingly obvious that to be considered a beautiful nation by the Brits one needs to talk English as a first language! Britain is still a highly strung ageing empire who's likes and dislikes are brainwashed to them by old fashioned text-books read by old fashioned teachers in old fashioned schools. Those who still remain slightly bewildered by what they learnt will be finished off by the Telegraph, the never-to- be outdone Guardian, or of course the great auntie herself- the good old Beeb. The survey itself should give us no cause for concern. In fact we should celebrate. Our days of worry will come when the British actually start to show us respect.

T.L., Caesarea, Israel:This is hardly surprising. The majority of Brits are arrogant and
clueless when it comes to Middle East affairs. The media in the UK has been very anti-Israel in every respect, and the way some British MPs meddle in Palestinian affairs for cheap publicity back home (i.e. going to the West Bank to protest against the security barrier and openly calling Israel an "apartheid" state without even looking up the definition of the term "apartheid" in the dictionary) has only increased anti-Israel sentiments among Britons. And certainly a few hypocrite imbeciles in Tony Blair's government are also to blame because they give legitimacy to terrorist groups that target Israeli civilians. When Israel liquidated Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin, the Arabist fool foreign minister Jack Straw rushed to condemn the operation calling it "illegal" and "unjustified". Yet at the same time British troops were slaughtering Iraqi civilians under the pretense of "defense".

Daniel Suissa, London: As a British Jew from London, this survey does not surrpise me in the least....but I'm not bothered, as the Englsih are hardly a nation / race to aspire to...they have the worst drinking problem in Europe / have an obesity problem that is getting serious. Living here I see it all the time, and i guess it kmust be the fantastic british weather that keeps the Brits here...then again, are you sure the poll was done by The Guardian / BBC ????

Tim Thomson, Scotland: What the survey fails to say is the nationality or relisgious background of the people taking part in the survey. If you took the survey outside a mosque in Bradford or in a area with a high moslem population the results are obviously going to be against Israel, although now a days the BBC and most other news channels are anti-Israel, so it is hardly surprising As a Christian and resident of Scotland i would like to say Israel is the No 1 most beautiful place in the world and is also the safest. Check the statistics for the likelihood of being killed in New York in a car accident!

Will King, Jerusalem, Israel: The snooty Brits have never been friends of Israel or the Jewish people, so why is this poll surprising or even matter? Mark it down as another case of elevated European anti-Israel bias due to increased Muslim immigration to Europe and one-sided reporting about Israel in their various media sources. So, let them be content on their island with their fish and chips. I know that I am more than content living in what I consider to be the most beautiful and special place on earth. May I also suggest to the Brits a closer self-evaluation before they go pointing fingers at other nations.

Dave Kind, Warrington, UK: I would suggest that the subset of people interviewed for this pole are not fully representitive of the UK population. I am not Jewish but have nothing against any religion and feel that this
survey serves as nothing less than a timed manipulating of current media/world affairs. How do you explain the 1M current applications for emigration if we are so happy living in the country we are living in? and I also find it
funny that all the top nations listed here are all English speaking. To be honest Isreal didn't have a chance. What a load of old rubbish!

Gerry Farkas, Efrat, Israel: The results of this survey are not surprising, coming from a country that shut the doors of Jewish immigration to Palestine when the Nazis were willing to force the Jews out of Europe instead of going through
the bother of mass murder. The Brits are also still smarting from getting their pants kicked in by a group of those same Jews who had the
temerity to survive the Nazi death machine and sneak into Palestine while the British soldiers were boozing and cavorting with their friends the local Arabs. My advice to British Jewry? Come home already.

Rev Jonathan Ordman, Manchester, England:
Israel, the country most Britons would least like to visit. None Jewish people in England wishing to visit Israel would find it very difficult.
The British Government(i.e. the Foreign Office) do not recommend it and I know of no high street travel agent who advertises holidays to Israel.
We used to have regular advertising from the Israeli Tourist Board,"Come to Eilat that's where the sun takes it's winter holiday!" but I have not seen an advert like this for several years.
So unless none Jews subscribe to the London Jewish Chronicle or the Manchester Jewish Telegraph they would not know where or how to get to Israel should they so desire. As for Abe Rhodes(or should that be Rosenstroch) ridiculous rant against the current Labour Government I suggest he retires gracefully to a darken room with a glass of water!

Paul Westcott, USA: The message from Rev Jonathan Ordman, Manchester, England, shows an unusual grasp of the English language. Are you better at Arabic?

Bernard Freedman, Scarsdale, Ny: For a country that has been under siege and attack from all sides by its enemies since its inception nearly 60 years ago, it is simply remarkable that Israel has been able to foster a democratic and excellent legal system that affords legal rights to all of its citizens, including for the 20% Arab percentage of its population. No country faced with this dauntingly dangerous situation could do, and in the past has done, any better. Most, including the high and mighty British, have a far worse record particularly when it was a colonial power.

Tracey Emery, Eastleigh, UK: The trouble with this sort of "discussion" is that it breeds hatred and fans the fires of bitterness into flame. As a British citizen, I am appalled at the anti-Israeli media reporting and the anti-Israeli opinions spouted from the mouths of some of my fellow citizens. It makes me ashamed to be British. Most of the points I would want to make have already been said, except that the world would be a much better place if everyone respected everyone else as a human being, a person with intrinsic value and worth, even if they disagreed with their points of view. I, myself, and many others I know in Britain are not anti-Israel - quite the opposite - and I wish that I could apologise on behalf of my country. The trouble with polls is that not everyone is asked, and even so, a majority opinion isn't always right! Before we criticize Israel for the way it handles itself, maybe we should really try to imagine what it would be like to live with the constant threat of terrorism in the same way they do and see if we would really be any different. So many people want to obliterate Israel from the map; the fact that it is still here, a strong nation, says a lot for it. But don't think that an opinion poll tells the whole picture - it's just a tiny, biased slice.

Elizabeth Stanley, Sheffield, United Kingdom: As a Briton, I would just like to express my 100% support for the Jewish people and their beautiful, democratic state of Israel. The recent poll just shows that the majority of British people are ignorant of international conflicts and their causes. Of course, biased broadcasting by the BBC and other British news channels doesn't help the matter; the British public is being fed false, pro-Arab information by the U.K. Press. And if I had taken part in the recent poll I would have voted Britain as the country least deserving of international respect, I would much rather be living in Israel or America.

Eve Hoffman, Jerusalem, Israel: Good I am glad that the British do not like our country; they can stay out. Personally coming from Canada, I find Britain the least desirable country in the world. They are a rude obnoxious self-righteous lot, who feel that they are superior to everyone else. All you find when you visit for business or pleasure is a bunch of weak-minded sheep being led around by the nose with an awful traffic problem and an anti-Semitic attitude. Israel, on the other hand, is beautiful and very democratic considering all the war we have had to endure at the hands of our Arab neighbors and our large Arab population.

Jeremy Cole, London, England: Whilst I disagree with the results of the survey, as they relate to Israel, it demonstrates what a terrible public relations job Israel continues to do. Having visited Israel many times and much of my family live out there, I know differently. But rather than pointing the finger elsewhere, the people of Israel need to appreciate that public perception around the world translates into government actions. The American government are pro-Israel because it wins them votes. The British government will predominantly act as the voters wish. Israel must wake up and appreciate that people's opinions do matter, despite how inaccurate they are. If Israel only invested the time and effort into public relations as the Palestinians do, then perhaps they would not find themselves ostracised by the majority of the world.

Shane Loughlin, Birmingham, UK: I am a Brit who is neither Jewish nor anti-Jewish, pro-Arab nor anti-Arab, and most certainly not a 'Christian Zionist' and Israel is my favorite place on Earth. Before stooping to ignorant racist generalizations, like unfortunately many respondents here have, let's look at the issues:
It is well known that extremist Muslim terrorists are constantly firing rockets and blowing up their children in Israel. Therefore it is a dangerous place to live. That would help explain why so many of us don't want to live there. We remember the IRA horrors, don't want to live in fear like that again, therefore to someone without a direct link to Israel it would seem like too risky a place to live. Though I'm surprised Iraq didn't make it on the list.
Outside of Israel, for obvious reasons, only the 'troubles' make it on the news. You couldn't really expect the news at 10 on the BBC to run a headline article on the beauty of Carmel or the Negev would you. Has IBA2 ever run a headline news story about the beauty of Canterbury? No, it's not news. What we see on the news is Jews being blown up, Palestinian children being shot (sometimes the fault of trigger happy soldiers, more often the fault of non-caring Palestinian's desperate to create 'martyrs'), holocaust-revisionist settlers comparing their government to Hitler (!?!?!?!) and other things that are most certainly not 'beautiful'.
I personally have had the good fortune to visit Israel on numerous occasions and have witnessed the beauty of the land and the people and cannot wait to go back there again. By inferring that every non-rosy view of Israel is anti-semitic you devalue the truly anti-Semitic...

Julian Cox, London, England: I can attest to the fact that this survey is at least accurate. The amount of blind, ignorant prejudice in Britain toward Israel is quite astounding. Everyone has an opinion, everyone is always right and everyone seemingly disapproves of Israel at one and the same time as taking the moral high ground whilst standing in a moral and ethical gutter. And this is not limited to gentiles. Just read the revered Rabbi John Rayner on the subject - he is a disgrace to Jewry and beats BBC bias hands down as he writes from the safety and comfort of his armchair. What worries me more is that these attitudes are leading to a groundswell of anti-Semitism from which Britain has been relatively free in its more obvious forms. I'm afraid we Brits have never been a very bright or fair people - we just like to think that because we invented cricket, everyone in fact knows the rules. We delude ourselves continually about ourselves, so how could we possibly be fair-minded about Israel? All I can do is apologize and say that I do know some Brits who do genuinely care and appreciate Israel and Israelis. I know I do.

George Erdos, Toronto, Canada:
I just finished reading the Telegraph survey and I am not a bit surprised. As a former Israeli currently living in Canada I had the opportunity to meet first generation English immigrants and they were with no exception very conceited, ready to show these colonials how to run things. From my perspective the legacy of the former British Empire is at best mixed. Misreading both World wars, a cumbersome, inefficient Imperial System of Measurements, driving on the left and lastly for the lack of gratitude towards America and Americans, after all if not for the Americans, people on the wet Island would speak German and the bank notes would carry Hitler's glorious image. Israel is not all roses, the country and it's people under constant attack, yet they have a democracy, with justice system that can be
envied by many, the people are some times rude but direct, you know what to expect. The word perfidy is applied to England by many and it is no surprise.

Abe Rhodes, Cheadle, Cheshire, UK: Britain is virtually a third world country in terms of its transport system, its health service, and its school system, yet the people continue to elect Tony Blair and his cohorts by a large majority. Why should Israelis take notice of the opinions of people who demonstrate such poor judgment?

Jeremy Sharon, Ra'anana, Israel: The results of this survey are ironic really, when you consider that Israel is, by far, more democratic than Britain with its 'First Past the Post ' electoral system. A full 59.3% of the British electorate did not vote for Tony Blair and the Labour Party in June 2001yet those people have absolutely no representation in the government. What makes it even funnier is that all those who voted for the Liberal Democrats (who campaign for a proportional representation system in England like Israel's) were probably the ones to state that Israel was the least democratic.

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