Americans’ views of eight important Middle East countries were fairly stable over the past year, after a decade that saw shifts in several of their ratings, a Gallup poll released Tuesday sowed. About seven in 10 Americans view Israel favorably – making Israel the only positively viewed Middle East country of those Gallup tested.
Less than half of the Americans asked view Egypt favorably, and only a third have a favorable view of Saudi Arabia. Less than 20% have a favorable view of the remaining five, including Libya, the Palestinian Authority, Iraq, Syria, and Iran.
These results are based on Gallup’s 2014 World Affairs poll, conducted Feb. 6-9. Gallup’s annual World Affairs poll measures Americans’ views on a variety of foreign policy issues, as well as the favorable and unfavorable images of a number of countries. The poll was initiated in 2001 and is updated each February.
At 13%, Syria’s minimal U.S. favorable rating is similar to what it was a year ago, but down slightly from 2012, continuing a gradual slide in that country’s image since 2005.
However, Iran’s position in American public opinion has been improving, in response to the massive propaganda brainwashing of the media. As the U.S. and other world powers are engaged in high-level talks with Iran over its nuclear program, never mind the results, Gallup finds little change in the overall percentage viewing Iran favorably, remaining near 85%, but there has been a decline in the percentage viewing Iran very unfavorably, now at 42%, down from 52% in 2012.
No doubt about it, fewer Americans fear and hate Iran this year. It makes for a great slogan: Iran – you don’t hate us so much any more.
The poll shows some differences among different age groups’ view of the Middle East, with young adults aged 18 to 34 holding somewhat more positive views of some Arab countries than do adults 55 and older. This applies to Libya, Egypt, Iran, Syria, Iraq, and the Palestinian Authority.
It’s also clear that older Americans have more favorable views of Israel, while there is no difference by age in views of Saudi Arabia.
Libya and Egypt, the two “Arab Spring” countries, receive positive evaluations from the youngest Americans. The older folks – not so much.