Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Israel, Iran, US lead 'least-liked' countries

Call it the new "axis of evil", or at least of unpopularity. A new poll sponsored by the BBC lumps Iran, Israel and the US together as the world's least-liked nations. A little more than half of the respondents said they had mainly negative views of the three countries.

By Jim Lobe
Asia Times

"WASHINGTON - A majority of people from around the world hold predominantly negative views of Israel, Iran, and the United States, according to a survey of more than 28,000 respondents in 27 countries.

The survey, which was sponsored by the British Broadcasting Corp's World Service and designed by Globescan and the Washington-based Program for International Policy Attitudes (PIPA), found that 56% and 54% of all respondents said they had mainly negative views of Israel and Iran, respectively.

Fifty-one percent and 48% said the same about the United States and North Korea, respectively.

At the other end of the spectrum, 54% said they felt "mainly positive" about both Canada and Japan, while the European Union and France, with 53% and 50% "positive" ratings, were the next highest among the 12 countries or regions rated in the survey.

"It appears that people around the world tend to look negatively on countries whose profile is marked by the use or pursuit of military power," said PIPA director Steven Kull.

"This includes Israel and the US, which have recently used military force, and North Korea and Iran, who are perceived as trying to develop nuclear weapons," he said, adding, "Countries that relate to the world primarily through soft power, like Japan, France, and the EU in general, tend to be viewed more positively."......"

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