In the next few days, Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas plans to ask for United Nations admission and recognition of the state of Palestine. The United States has promised it would veto that request as it passes through the Security Council. American sympathies have always been more with Israel than with the Palestinians, but their thinking about Palestine in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll is divided — sometimes supporting Palestinian goals and sometimes opposing them.
By over three to one, Americans project more sympathy for Israel than for the Palestinians — but 23% say their sympathy is equal for both. Nearly two thirds of Republicans support Israel, while Democrats are more divided — with over third of Democrats saying they sympathize equally with both. Americans see the President as different from themselves: twice as many say he favors the Palestinians as favors Israel.
But Americans do — narrowly — side with the Palestinians when it comes to having an independent Palestinian state, something supported by President Obama. Republicans oppose a Palestinian state by more than two to one.
But overall, the public opposes United Nations admission as a full-member state for a Palestinian entity. Opposition is strongest among Republicans. A plurality also supports the U.S. using its veto to make sure there is no U.N. seat for Palestine.
There is enormous skepticism about the future for the Middle East. More think the Obama Administration policies will have a negative effect than a positive one there. And 42% don’t think there will ever be a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Photo source: Press Association