U.S. Voters Opposed to Unilaterally Declared Palestinian State, New Poll Shows

— Alan Elsner & Nathan Klein, The Israel Project

  • Majority opposes U.S. recoginition of unilaterally declared Palestinian state.
  • Israel seen to be making efforts for peace, not Palestinians.
  • Voters who say U.S. should support Israel rises.

Some 51 percent of U.S. voters oppose the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state without a signed peace treaty with Israel, a new TIP poll finds. And, 54 percent believe that without a peace treaty, the United States should not recognize a Palestinian state.

The poll was mostly completed before Palestinian terrorists attacked a school bus in Israel on Thursday wounding two people.

More after the jump.
U.S. leaders on both sides of the aisle have also expressed their opposition to a unilateral declaration of statehood by the Palestinian Authority. President Obama’s representative in the U.N., Ambassador Susan Rice, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee this week: “The tough issues between Israelis and Palestinians can be resolved only by direct negotiations between the parties, not in New York,” referring to U.N. headquarters there.

Republican Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18, R) said in opening remarks, “I ask that the U.S. do all we can to ensure that the Palestinian lobby does not gain member status in the U.N. before negotiating a true peace with our ally Israel.”

Speaking about the theoretical declaration of a Palestinian state, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, Founder & President of The Israel Project said: “Many Americans feel that the problem is not territory, but rather the culture of hate that encourages young Palestinians to commit acts of terrorism against Israeli civilians. They do not see how an empty declaration of Palestinian statehood can bring peace until the hatred ends.

Added Mizrahi: “Israeli and Palestinian relations are very complicated with shared power, water, security and refugee issues affecting both sides. These issues must be worked out before there is peace. It is vital to settle all the outstanding issues to the satisfaction of both sides with mutual respect and security.”

Supporting these opinions, 61 percent of voters say that Israel is making an effort for peace, while 53 percent believe the Palestinians are making “not much” or “no” effort.

Neil Newhouse, Republican partner of TIP’s bipartisan polling team, said: “There is a clear perception that the Palestinians are not stepping up to the plate on working toward a real peace agreement.”

Additionally, as political turmoil roils the Arab world, 58 percent of American voters say the United States should support Israel – a jump of seven percentage points since January. This represents a three-point rise since February to the highest level of support for this position since October, 2009. The survey also found an increase in positive feelings toward Israel – and negative feelings toward the Palestinians.

“Instability in the region and recent events in Israel are causing an increase of support for Israel among the American electorate,” said Stanley Greenberg, Democratic partner of TIP’s bipartisan polling team.

The national survey of 800 registered voters was conducted April 5-7, 2011 by Public Opinion Strategies on behalf of The Israel Project. The margin of error is +/- 3.46%.


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