Views of the US around the world have improved sharply over the past year, a BBC World Service poll suggests.For the first time since the BBC started these annual polls in 2005, America's influence in the world is now seen as more positive than negative (46% against 34%) .The improved scores for the US coincided with Barack Obama becoming president.
In 2009 Germany is viewed most favourably (59% sees it favourably), followed by Japan (53), the UK (52), Canada (51) and France (49%).The EU scores 53%
For Israel the result of the poll is devastating. Its rating is a 19% low. It must be embarrassed to find itself in the company of Iran (15%), Pakistan (16, and North-Korea (17), while Russia gets 30%. Nearly 30,000 people in 28 countries were interviewed for the poll, between November 2009 and February 2010.
The poll results almost coincide with the celebration of Israels 62th birthday for which The Jerusalem Post wrote in an editorial, apparently unaware of the BBC poll:
And Israel at 62 suffers growing pariah status, singled out for demonization in diplomatic forums, in legal arenas and in the media – its historic legitimacy undermined, its defensive measures assailed, its very right to survive questioned. Iran is central to this assault, bolstered by the bizarre partnership of the radical Left and the fascist Right in much of Western Europe and beyond. Here, once more, we depend on the US’s upright moral compass and the fundamental ethics of its citizens to counterbalance the United Nations and other skewed forums.Pariah status. The Post is right. Except for the fact that it is highly unlikely that a coalition between Iran, the radical Left and fascist Right is responsible for this dramatic fall in popularity in the 28 countries where the poll took place. Israel at 62 would be wise to look in the mirror and think twice. It's not Iran, nor the radical Left or even the fascist Right that builds settlements on occupied land, or fought two bloody wars in Libanon and Gaza in the last four years.