Washington, Feb. 21 – In an increasingly unstable neighborhood, a new poll shows yet more evidence of Israel’s challenges with her neighbors. The poll finds that 100% of respondents in Lebanon give Israel the most negative rating available.
Encouragingly, both Hezbollah and Hamas, designated terrorist organizations that have sworn the destruction of Israel, have net negative ratings. However, a disturbing 43 percent rate each of the organizations positively.
Iran is also viewed as a net negative, with stark religious differences of opinion. Among Shia Muslims, Iran is rated positively by 93 percent of the population. At least two-thirds among Sunni Muslims, Druze, and Christians rate Iran negatively.
The highest priorities for the Lebanese are protecting the rights of Christians (91 percent), Managing the Lebanese economy (71 percent), protecting freedom of speech (68 percent), and increasing the rights of women (64 percent).
Said TIP’s Director for Arabic Media Shimrit Meir, “Although these polls show that hatred for Israel is deeply entrenched in Jordan and Lebanon, The Israel Project is working to push back hatred and violence. Given the poll numbers, we know we have our work cut out for us. We can only go up.”
The Israel Project’s two Arabic language Facebook pages, Twitter feed, and YouTube channel provide factual stories about Israeli culture and democracy. TIP also added to its Facebook page an application with job postings, scholarship and study opportunities and a “how-to” career section in Arabic. TIP’s Arabic social media presence has garnered 368,851 ‘likes’ and almost 46.9 million post views.
The survey was conducted November 19 – December 11, 2011 by Pechter Middle East Polls among 1,000 Lebanese adults. The margin of error is +/- 3 percent.