In Philip Roth’s novel Deception, a Czech non-Jew asks her American Jewish lover, “Why does everyone here hate Israel so much. Can you explain that?” Her lover won’t accept her promise that Israel is a terrible country – but she continued “Still, there are many countries far more terrible. Yet the hostility to Israel is almost universal among the people I meet.”
Let’s assume Israel is not perfect – surely Israel is much better than anyone else in the Middle East. Some suggest that Israel could be more accepting, more liberal, etc. Can anyone disagree that this 65 year old nation has made a tremendously positive impact in the world?
However, this year’s BBC World Service annual Country Ratings Poll which surveyed 26,000 people in 25 countries found Israel to be the fourth most hated country in the world. The only states less popular were North Korea, Pakistan and Iran. Communist China, India and Russia all ranked ahead of Israel. Twenty-one percent of people polled thought positively of Israel – and 52 percent viewed the Jewish State unfavorably. Fifteen percent of those polled throughout favorably of Iran (No mention by the pollsters if Iranians were amongst those polled.)
Anyone who can put Israel and North Korea in the same sentence is simply asinine. Considering the source, maybe it should not be surprised – recently, a columnist for The Guardian said anyone who works at BBC cannot have pro-Israel views. Tens of thousands Syrians have been killed by their government – and there is silence. Every single day there are horrors perpetuated – but as long as it isn’t in Israel it isn’t front page news.
It is items like these which leave even the most-fervent Israel supporters silent. Is it the fault of the media who poisons people worldwide against Israel or is it Anti-Semitism? Would better Israel Public Relations help or is it hopeless to try and convince the world?
Israel stands for democracy, Western civilization and the redemption of the Jewish people from the ashes. Whatever the reasoning or the rationale between this survey, it’s simply not fair. But, then again as my mother always used to tell me and I teach my kids, the world simply isn’t fair.