israel the zionist enemy

  1. 208 Posts.
    and not only according to Abbas, the as yet not assasinated Palestinian leader. And who, apart from yipres and the olive skinned olive, would disagree ?
    I'm sure they are unfazed by this, along with their comrades.

    British Jews unfazed by poll portraying Israel as unsafe, ugly
    Miriam Shaviv, THE JERUSALEM POST Jan. 4, 2005

    LONDON - British Jewish leaders on Tuesday said they were not surprised by a poll published in the Daily Telegraph on Monday showing that Britons consider Israel one of the most undemocratic, unsafe, unfriendly and unattractive countries in the world.

    "The survey has simply highlighted an ongoing issue which the community has been working hard to combat for the past four years," said Jason Pearlman, a spokesman for the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the national representative body of the British Jewish community. "The results reflect the way the media has covered the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and this is something we've known for a long time."

    Nevertheless, analysts urged caution in accepting the results, emphasizing that the poll was not nuanced or wide enough to serve as a basis for definite conclusions about British public opinion.

    "The survey, as reported, seems rather crude and general, and some of the questions Israel fell on, for example asking people to rank the most beautiful countries, are just stupid," said Geoffrey Alderman, Professor Emeritus of Politics at Middlesex University and a columnist for the UK's Jewish Chronicle.

    He emphasized that in almost every category, the countries seen most positively were members of the British commonwealth, countries to which respondents had a natural affinity.

    "There is an enormous range of opinion in the British public depending on who you ask and where you go," he said. "Either way, one swallow does not make a summer, and one poll is neither here nor there."

    The poll, which was conducted by YouGov the week before the Christmas break, invited 2,058 adults across Great Britain to rate almost two dozen countries, including Israel, Britain, Canada, Australia, the US, Ireland, Egypt, South Africa, Russia, Dubai, India and China on 12 separate criteria.

    Israel came out on the bottom in four cases and among the bottom five in four more. Only Russia had a worse overall score.

    Israel was named by 37% of respondents as the country in which they would least like to live, coming at the top of the survey. The country was also ranked the place where Britons would least like to take a holiday (41%), and the least beautiful country (23%).

    Only the French (30%) and the Germans (23%) were considered to have less friendly people than Israel (15%), and only the United States (37%) was considered more dangerous than Israel (33%). Despite being the only fully democratic state in the Middle East, Israel was also thought to be among the world's "least democratic countries," beaten only by China, Russia and Dubai.

    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.

    Shuli Davidovich, press secretary at the Israeli embassy in London, called the results "disappointing," but noted that there had been a rise of 60% in the number of British tourists to Israel in the past year to more than 100,000.

    "Certainly the tens of thousands of British tourists including Prime Minister Blair, Foreign Secretary Straw and many MPs, who have visited Israel in the past year would disagree with the issue of Israel's beauty, and levels of democracy," she said. "Perhaps we should not be the only ones to worry –- according to the poll, over half the British people would prefer to live somewhere else."

    Davidovich rejected claims that the embassy was not serious enough about hasbara.

    "In recent weeks, there has been a positive change in the British media following Arafat's death and Sharon's disengagement plan," she said, citing a cover story with Sharon holding an olive branch in the Economist and a glowing story about Israel in the Times by travel writer Julie Burchill as examples. "We're getting towards a more positive atmosphere."

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

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

    Atarah Haber contributed to this report.

    This article can also be read at

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