Israel's image is the most negative ever, according to an international survey of “nation brands” conducted by a leading global authority on branding.See that? South Africa tucked in with Japan. What did Japan do? They went constitutionally pacifist after an age militaristic expansionism. Could Israel stop its expansionism? Many still believe it can. It can withdraw, it is said, from the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza. Others are not so sure. The integration of Israel and the occupied territories runs to deeply. Look at Gaza now. The people are more desperate than when Israel was in direct occupation. Perhaps Japan's not much of a role model here.
A “nation brand” is the sum of the perceptions of a country and its people across six areas — tourism, exports, governance, investment and immigration, culture and heritage, and people.
The report’s author, Simon Anholt, of the Anholt Nation Brands Index, told the JC that a public-relations campaign to improve Israel’s image, as planned by Jerusalem, “is likely to be a complete waste of money. I’m terribly afraid that the Foreign Ministry people are kidding themselves.”
Mr Anholt noted that it was the wrong time to try and change a country’s image when it was caught up in conflict. Any campaign at the moment would strengthen the feelings of its supporters but intensify anti-Israel emotions among opponents, he said.
The only countries that had managed to change their image, Mr Anholt said, were South Africa and Japan, but this had taken decades and been the result “of things they’ve done, not said.”
So what did South Africa do? After decades of armed and unarmed resistance together with a worldwide boycott it abolished its segregationist system known as apartheid. So what should Israel do to improve its image? It's just a suggestion but perhaps it should abolish its apartheid system known as.... Oh dear. Its apartheid system is known as the State of Israel.