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Israel flag image by jorono via

People, Places, Power - Episode 26: Israel: Branded by Conflict?

Oct 15, 2021


Note from the CPD Blog Manager: This post features the podcast People, Places, Power co-hosted by CPD Faculty Fellow Nicholas J. Cull and Good Country Index founder Simon Anholt. The podcast is produced by Elizabeth Islas USC M.A. Candidate of Specialized Journalism (2021), and features Cull and Anholt in weekly discussion on international reputation, foreign policy and related issues along the way. 

Previously: Ep. 1: Biden's America | Ep. 2: Brexit Britain | Ep. 3: In Search of the Good Leader | Ep. 4: The European Union | Ep. 5: What Price Monarchy? | Ep. 6:  Cities and International Image | Ep. 7: Mega Events? Buyer Beware. | Ep. 8: Germany: From Pariah to Paragon | Ep. 9: Culture: Decorative or Useful? | Ep. 10: Can Individuals Make a Difference? | Ep. 11: Migration Nations | Ep: 12: Credible India? | Ep. 13: The Bad Image | Ep. 14: Populism | Ep. 15: Oh, Canada! | Ep. 16: Digital Disruption: New Technology & Soft Power | Ep. 17: Japan at the Crossroads I Ep. 18: Scotland's Next Step | Ep. 19 Public Diplomacy and Place Branding | Ep. 20: The Talent Trade: Who's Looking for Einstein? | Ep. 21: France: Trouble at the Top? | Ep. 22: Systems and Structures: Organizing Public Diplomacy | Ep. 23: Trust: The Linchpin of Reputation | Ep. 24: Nordics: The Saga of Success? | Ep. 25: The Media: Friends or Foes of Country Image?

Episode 26: Israel: Branded by Conflict?

This episode considers the image of Israel which, as Simon notes, was one of the worst when included in the Nation Brands Index. The heart of the problem seems to be the power of a conflict to taint the image of all combatants whatever its inherent rights and wrongs. Nick notes a string of innovative Israeli activities to show that Israel is more than a conflict. Simon recalls consistently advising governments of Israel that it would need to act jointly with Palestine to really improve its image. The bad image is shared. The pair consider the actual contributions of Israel to the world revealed in the Good Country index as evidence of the way in which the good is overshadowed. Simon attributes Israel's headwind to anti-Semitism but notes that Islamic countries face a similar attitude in external Islamophobia. The discussion concludes by considering the positive indicators of the Abraham Accords but emphasizes that all countries need to be as engaged as possible in partnerships and collaborations, from trade to development. Countries like Israel and Japan with a strong sense of distinctiveness and an exclusive approach to identity may be at a disadvantage moving into the 21st century.


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