Thursday, January 06, 2005
From the Jerusalem Post
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."