U.S. Still Has Fans Among Israeli and Filipinos, but Mideast Is Less Than Impressed

Egypt's 10 percent positive rating of the U.S. is the lowest in the world, followed by Jordan (12 percent,) Pakistan (14 percent) and Turkey (19 percent.)

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Much of the world still loves America.
Much of the world still loves America.Credit: AP

Israelis are the world's second biggest fans of America, with their 84 percent favorable opinion trailing only that of the Filipinos, with 92 percent.

When ethnicity is taken into account, Israeli Jews are neck-to-neck with the Filipinos, with a 91 percent favorable opinion. Only 46 percent of Israeli Arabs are favorable to America, however.

These figures are from a new global attitudes survey conducted by the Pew Research Center and released on Tuesday

Overall, America has a 65 percent global affirmative rating, though its popularity in the Middle East is just 30 percent, the lowest of the world's regions.

The Palestinians in the occupied territories are hardly fans of America, though their favorable view has improved by 14 percent since last year, from 16 percent to 30 percent. Pew attributes the jump to Washington’s efforts to restart the Middle East peace process, even though the attempt ultimately failed.

Approval of the performance of U.S. President Barack Obama is also lowest in the Middle East, with only 13 percent of Palestinians, 17 percent of Jordanians and 19 percent of Egyptians expressing confidence in his leadership.

Israelis, on the other hand, give Obama a 71 percent positive rating, up 10 percent since 2013. That increase, too, may be attributable to the president's efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian problem.

In Lebanon, more than half of Sunni Muslims (55 percent) and Christians (53 percent) say they are positively disposed toward the U.S. but only 10% of Shia share that opinion.

Egypt's 10 percent positive rating is the lowest in the world, followed by Jordan (12 percent,) Pakistan (14 percent) and Turkey (19 percent.)

The biggest decline in ratings for the U.S. is in Russia, where 23% now hold a favorable opinion, a drop of 23 percent in the past year. Pew attributes the sharp decline to recent tension over Crimea, Ukraine and western sanctions on Russia.

A significant number of Greeks also harbor anti-American sentiment. More than six-in-10 Greeks express a negative view (63 percent to 34 percent favorable.)

Respondents in 44 countries participated in the Pew survey. Surprisingly, France – a vociferous critic of the 2003 Iraq invasion – makes the list of America's top 10 fans, while Germany is among its top 10 critics.

Africa, most of Asia, Europe and Latin America are strongly pro-American, while the Middle East remains the bastion of anti-Americanism. That spread, Pew says, "paints a pretty accurate road map of the overseas challenges facing Washington in the years ahead."

On the bright side, half or more of the respondents in seven of the nine European nations surveyed said they regard the U.S. in a positive light. Top of the list are Italians (78 percent), French (75 percent) and Poles (73 percent.) Only in Germany, where U.S. favorability is down 13 percent since 2009, has the positive image of the U.S. slipped significantly. Nevertheless, 51 percent of Germans still regard America favorably.

Even more favorably disposed to America are Asians. Filipinos are strongly onboard with 92 percent, followed by South Koreans (82 percent,) Bangladeshis (76 percent) and Vietnamese (76 percent.) Even half the Chinese give Uncle Sam the thumbs-up, though Pakistanis (14 percent) have little love to give.

In Latin America, majorities are favorably inclined to the U.S. in eight of nine countries surveyed. Even in Venezuela, which has been at loggerheads with Washington for years, over six-in-10 respondents had a favorable opinion of the U.S.

Africans, too, are particularly positive about America, with 80 percent of Kenyans, 77 percent of Ghanaians, 75 percent of Tanzanians and 74 percent of Senegalese expressing favorable sentiments toward the U.S.



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