An international survey of global consumers concluded that Israel has the world’s worst "national brand." The Anholt Nation Brands Index, which surveys 25,900 consumers in 35 nations, found that Israel ranked low or lowest in almost every category, including cultural, political, investment potential and tourist appeal.
Simon Anholt predicted it could take 30 years to turn around Israel’s image. How do you think Israel can improve its image here in Canada? What are you doing to to make a difference?
Here are excerpts from a Jerusalem Post editorial on the subject:
"Like corporate products, nations too can be regarded as brand-names and their standing in the international marketplace evaluated according to a wide range of criteria. That is what the Anholt Nation Brands Index does four times annually for 36 nations. This time Israel too was tested and it came a cropper – last among the 36 and close to rock-bottom in all categories examined.
Israel’s prestige is clearly severely battered. Only Bhutan, another ‘guest’ BNI participant, has in the past scored as low as Israel, though that was ascribed to Bhutan’s anonymity. Israel, however, experiences the reverse affliction – excessive notoriety.
Unfortunately, some in [Israel’s] government have long regarded the battle against vilification as a priori lost and therefore as something to dismiss or downplay. It too often seems as though Israel no longer really tries too earnestly to facelift its image.
Such defeatism must be resisted. It’s akin to a political candidate who avoids responding to relentless smears and negative campaigning by his adversary. Reluctance to face up to the challenge is interpreted as admission of fault.
Though the odds undeniably weigh heavily against Israel, given how long we have neglected the task, there is no excuse for failing to mount a spirited counter-offensive. Highlighting vibrant, multi-dimensional Israel, not just a land of conflict and violence, is a step in the right direction. Also urgently needed are creative approaches to defending against our detractors and making our case.
One thing is certain: If we don’t try, nothing will improve and Israel will have an increasingly hard time winning acceptance, attracting tourism, selling its products, conducting scientific research or engaging in cultural dialogue – in short, keeping its rightful place among the family of nations."