Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Instinctive associations

The results of the latest Nation Brands Index has Britain at No. 1 and Israel at No. 36 in an international survey of people's attitudes to 36 countries and their tourism, exports, governance, investment, immigration, cultural heritage and people.

No-one would expect Israel to score well in most of these areas in comparison to most other Western countries, but to score as badly as Bhutan? Simon Anholt claims in this Jerusalem Post article that Bhutan is the only other 'guest' participant in the history of the survey to score so low. Bhutan with 93% of its workforce engaged in agriculture and per capita GDP at $1,400. How is this possible?

Anholt said that his study differed from that of other surveys, in that this was not a politically-based public opinion poll. It did not measure people's ideas about the conflict with the Palestinians or Hizbullah, but rather it examined people's instinctive associations with the country that would impact their decisions outside the political arena, such as whether they would buy a product from Israel, visit the country, or hire an Israeli.
Could you have a clearer indication of the impact of the media's treatment of Israel than this? How else are these instinctive associations formed? I bet you Iran would score higher if it were included. This is how, as we have seen, others form more murderous instinctive associations.


wodge said...

You go to all the trouble of ethnically cleansing a country of its resident population, destroying their villages, herding them into a gaint prison and killing their women and children with overwhelming miltary force and your national brand index drops to zero. Go figure! Maybe they should get Saatchi & Saatchi on the case!

NoolaBeulah said...

If that were true, I could understand it. Unfortunately, though that picture fits perfectly into the old imperialist/colonialist paradigm, it doesn't fit into anything that touches on reality. To take just one point. I assume that with the phrase 'ethnically cleansing' you are referring to what happened in 1948. Yes, there were some atrocities committed against the Palestinians, but that is hardly surprising when you have 60 million people attacking 1.5 million from all sides (five Arab armies: Iraq , Jordan , Syria , Lebanon and Egypt). More importantly, the reason the vast majority of Palestinians left their homes was that they were told to by their own leaders to make way for the invading armies or they were just avoiding the crossfire. Their own leaders again exaggerated Israeli atrocities to influence world opinion, but in doing so also frightened their own population into flight. This last practice has not been abandoned.