New data communicated to TIME by the economic intelligence company Morning Consult show that support for Israel around the world has fallen significantly since the start of the Gaza war.
Net favorability – the percentage of people viewing Israel positively after subtracting the percentage of people viewing it negatively – fell overall by an average of 18.5 percentage points between September and December, declining in 42 of 43 countries surveyed.
China, South Africa, Brazil and several other Latin American countries have all shifted from a positive to a negative view of Israel. And many wealthy countries that already had a net negative view of Israel, including Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom, saw significant declines. Net favorable opinion in Japan increased from -39.9 to -62.0; in South Korea, from -5.5 to -47.8; and in the United Kingdom, from -17.1 to -29.8.
“The data shows how difficult Israel’s situation is in the international community,” says Sonnet Frisbie, deputy head of policy intelligence at Morning Consult.
The war began on October 7, when Hamas massacred 1,200 Israelis and took 240 hostage. Israel’s retaliation resulted in the deaths of at least 24,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children. Last week, the International Criminal Court took up South Africa’s case accusing Israel of committing “genocidal acts” in Gaza.
Morning Consult carrying out daily online surveys with a purchase option, analysts were able to observe the evolution of public opinion in different countries following the October 7 attacks. These surveys are conducted in 43 different countries on six continents and are used to anticipate market trends for their clients. Sample size varies from country to country, ranging from 300 to 6,000 responses over a one-month period.
The United States remains the only wealthy country that still has a net positive opinion of Israel. Net favorable opinion only decreased by 2.2 percentage points, from a net favorable opinion of 18.2 to a net favorable opinion of 16 between September and December.
Washington’s support for Israel, however, comes at a cost in global public opinion, particularly in Arab countries, according to polls. In Egypt, the United States went from a positive favorability of 41.1 to a negative favorability of -14.9 from September to December. In Saudi Arabia, the United States saw a similar trend, dropping from a positive favorability of 12.2 to -10.5 during the same period.
Frisbie said the move will make it more difficult for Saudi Arabia to continue to cooperate with Israel and pursue the planned normalization deal brokered by the United States.
“Much of the cooperation between Gulf leaders and Israel has been through careful messaging to their domestic populations and bypassing public opinion. I think that leaves them a lot less space to do that,” Mr Frisbie says.
Anna Gordon is a reporter on TIME’s news team.
ED translation for the Palestine Media Agency