Nearly 70 percent of Israelis surveyed recently said that Israel should accept a Palestinian state if the United Nations chooses to recognize it, according to a report in Thursday’s edition of The Jerusalem Post.
The poll results fly in the face of American conservatives and even President Barack Obama, who have taken the lead in discouraging the U.N. from voting on the matter, claiming that it could threaten Israel’s security.
The study was carried out by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. They found that just over 69 percent of the Israeli respondents felt the country should accept the U.N.’s ultimate decision on a Palestinian state. A further 83 percent of Palestinians said that turning to the U.N. for statehood is the right thing to do.
The United States has vowed to veto any request for Palestinian statehood at the Security Council, potentially sparking a new Middle East crisis. Tens of thousands of Palestinians took part in rallies to back the Palestinian leader on Wednesday.
Both Israel and the United States insist that only direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations can set up a peace deal that could lead to the creation of a new state.
“I am convinced that there is no shortcut to the end of a conflict that has endured for decades,” Obama told the U.N. General Assembly.
He did not mention the U.S. threat to veto the Security Council bid, but said: “Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the UN — if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.”
Obama insisted Israelis and Palestinians must sit down to “reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and security; on refugees and Jerusalem.”
For Obama, the confrontation is an embarrassment as 12 months ago he stood before the same assembly and called for Palestinian membership in the United Nations within a year.
Obama said he believed then and now “that the Palestinian people deserve a state of their own.” But he added Israel must have security guarantees because of the threat from “neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it.”