The worst country in the world?

I’ve noted here many times what I consider the bias of much of the British media against Israel, so I wasn’t terribly surprised to learn the results of the recent Telegraph YouGov poll ranking Israel among the very least esteemed of the world’s nations.

Israel is, according to the Britons polled, the country least deserving of international respect. It is also, the respondents believe, among the world’s least friendly, least democratic, most dangerous and least beautiful countries.

I can understand how the media’s consistently negative portrayal of Israel could produce most of these results, but least beautiful? How do you explain that? (There are those of us who find places like this, in the Negev, quite beautiful.)


Picking up on the Telegraph’s report, Eve Garrard, writing at normblog, takes a shot at understanding the intense and single-minded focus on the real or imagined misdeeds of Israel, among all the countries of the world– a measurable phenomenon at the recent European Social Forum.

Those who criticize Israel in the harshest terms, perhaps proposing boycotts against her, while remaining silent on (or even condoning) far worse and bloodier offences committed against human rights by other states, such as China, Sudan, Myanmar, North Korea, Baathist Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Pakistan, Mauretania, Mali, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Russia, Congo, Turkey, India, and others, owe us an explanation of why their hostility comes to red heat just where it does. Why is their animus focused on this one, out of all the possible candidates?

Update: Commenter Phil Hunt puts The Telegraph’s poll in some context:

It presented people with a list of 23 countries any asked people to choose from that list, the best and worst in several categories.

The poll gave people no way to select a preference for or against any of the 140 odd countries NOT on the list, including places like North Korea.

OK, but still…