Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel’s “presence on the world stage,” acknowledged by US News & World Report this week when it ranked Israel as the eighth-most-powerful nation in the world, will be on full display later this week when he goes to Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Netanyahu, speaking at the Likud faction meeting, said this global presence is also expressed in his close ties with US President Donald Trump and other leaders.
Netanyahu noted that Israel is only a fraction of the size of the countries ahead of it on the list of the world’s 10 most powerful nations, which – in descending order – are the US, Russia, China, Germany, the UK, France and Japan.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates round out the list of the top 10 countries that the US magazine said “project their influence on the world stage.”
The UAE has less than a million more people than Israel. Iran is ranked 13th in this list.
The prime minister said Israel is on the list because of “the citizens of Israel, and because of statesmanship.”
Israel was ranked in the same position on the list last year as well.
According to the magazine, “The world’s most powerful countries also are the ones that consistently dominate news headlines, preoccupy policy makers and shape global economic patterns. Their foreign policies and military budgets are tracked religiously. When they make a pledge, at least some in the international community trust they will keep it.”
The power ranking measures a number of different attributes such as political and economic influence, and the strength of international and military alliances.
In addition to being one of the most powerful countries in the world, Israel – the magazine reported in May – is perceived to be the “most religious in the world.”
Saudi Arabia, a theocratic monarchy based on Islamic Sharia law, and the Islamic Republic of Iran rank 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Overall, Israel was ranked 30th out of 80 countries on a list of “best countries,” which is made up, in addition to the power category, of eight other categories: entrepreneurship, adventure, citizenship, cultural influence, heritage, economic movers, open for business and quality of life.
After the power category, Israel scored highest (10) in the “movers” category, which measures the world’s “up and coming economies,” but lowest (70) in the adventure category, defined as “the best countries to fulfill your wanderlust.”
The rankings were based on survey of some 21,000 people across the globe.
Regarding Israel, US News & World Report wrote that “for its relatively small size, the country has played a large role in global affairs. The country has a strong economy, landmarks of significance to several religions and strained relationships with many of its Arab neighbors.”
Israel, the entry continues, “is very highly developed in terms of life expectancy, education, per capita income and other human development index indicators. But the country also has one of the most unequal economies in the Western world, with significant gaps between the rich and poor