A recent survey by the United Kingdom’s Royal Institute of International Affairs asked “which of the following (countries) do you feel especially unfavorable toward?”  The good news is that Israel wasn’t the worst. It was one up from the bottom of the list, only slightly better liked than North Korea.

To put that into perspective, Israel is now more disliked by the British public than Iran.

35 percent of the respondents, who were asked “which of the following (countries) do you feel especially unfavorable toward?” named Israel. Iran got a 33 percent disapproval rating, which signifies an improvement of 12 percent since 2012. North Korea was seen as unfavorable by 47 percent of the respondents.

This signifies a serious decline in the Brits attitude towards Israel.  In 2012, only 17 percent of respondents viewed Israel unfavorably – an increase of 18 points in two years.

Pakistan and Nigeria rank fourth and fifth in the list, scoring 28 and 21 percent, respectively.

15 percent of respondents said they don’t have a negative view of any of the countries listed, a decline of 4 percent from 2012′s survey.

Australia, Canada and the United States, meanwhile, enjoy a favorable outlook in the eyes of Britons. 47, 44 and 33 percent of respondents said they favor those countries. Israel also enjoys 6-percent of respondents who support it despite its low rating, while North Korea and Iran have only a meager 1 percent of respondents which said they favor them.

Many have attributed this decline in public opinion to last year’s war in which Israel was perceived as an aggressor that overreacted to Gazan actions, causing death and destruction to the civilians.  Last Summer 50,000 people took to the streets to demonstrate against Israel in London alone. This was hardly an exception, across Europe demonstrations numbering in the thousands of people marched with demands ranging from calling on Israel not to attack Gaza, to withdrawing from the West Bank to a whole range of other measures.

It might be noted that the separation between anti-Israel sentiment and anti-Semitism is quickly disappearing. Even in the media. The former Associated Press reporter Matti Friedman has stated emphatically that his time working for the international press has convinced him that the story is Israel is the root of all evil and will be portrayed as such. Sky News found it appropriate to show images of the Israeli attack on Gaza while interviewing the UK Chief Rabbi on Holocaust Memorial Day and even question him at such a time about Israeli policies. The BBC presenter Tim Willcox is currently being investigated by the BBC for comments he made to a daughter of Holocaust survivors in Paris. In response to her comments about anti-Semitism in Paris, he said “Palestinians are suffering hugely at Jewish hands.”

Regardless of the justice of attaching anti-Semitism to anti-Israel sentiment, this is the reality that is affecting Jews and Israelis. Anti-Semitism is universally recognized as evil and in most countries is illegal. Being anti-Israel is not illegal and, on the contrary, is quickly becoming the norm.

Salute to Israel Parade