Israel among US 'top 5' countries

Iran, Palestinian Authority favored by barely 20% in Gallup survey; China and Russia get mixed ratings.

flags 88 (photo credit: )
flags 88
(photo credit: )
Americans like Israel, but not as much as they like Canada, Great Britain, Germany and Japan. Gallup asked US residents to rate 22 countries for its 2008 World Affairs survey. Seventy-one percent of respondents had a favorable view of Israel. Canada, Great Britain, Germany, and Japan won favor with at least 80% of Americans, while Iraq, the Palestinian Authority, North Korea and Iran were viewed favorably by no more than 20%. In Gallup's 2005 poll, 69% viewed Israel favorably, 10 percentage points higher than in February 2004, but shy of the 79% who had a favorable of view of Israel during the 1991 Gulf War. Canada and Great Britain have topped Gallup's country rankings each of the 12 times since 1989 that both countries have been measured; in most cases Canada has led Great Britain by a few percentage points. The only other country to approach 90% favorability over the years has been Australia. On each of the three occasions it was included in Gallup's country list, including last year, it ranked just as high as Great Britain. Israel was ranked fifth on the 2008 list, slightly higher than India and France. Altogether, 10 countries rated in the poll are viewed favorably by a majority of Americans. About six in 10 Americans have a favorable view of Egypt, South Korea, and Mexico. Americans are about equally divided in their views of Russia and Kenya, with a fairly large proportion (21%) having no opinion of Kenya. Ten countries are viewed unfavorably by at least half of Americans. Of these, Iran, North Korea, the Palestinian Authority, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Cuba are viewed more negatively than positively by a greater than 2-to-1 margin. Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and China have more moderately negative images. The survey found significant generational and partisan gaps in attitudes toward some countries. Israel, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq are all viewed more favorably by Republicans than by Democrats; France, Mexico, China, Venezuela, and Cuba are all viewed more favorably by Democrats than by Republicans. Views of Russia and China were greatly affected by the respondent's age. About 6 in 10 young adults (those aged 18 to 34) have a favorable view of these countries, compared with no more than half of middle-aged adults and only about a third of those 55 and older. Younger adults are also more likely than those 55 and older to have favorable views of France, Egypt, Mexico, Kenya, Venezuela, Cuba, the Palestinian Authority, North Korea and Iran. The survey was based on telephone interviews with 1,007 US adults between February 11 and 14. The margin of error was approximately 3 percentage points.