The Jerusalem Post
September 21, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel should accept the decision if the UN recognizes a Palestinian state, about 70 percent of Israelis answered in a recent Hebrew University poll.

The poll, which was conducted jointly by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, also found that over 80% of the Palestinians support turning to the UN to obtain recognition of a Palestinian state. The survey was supported by the Ford Foundation Cairo office and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Ramallah and Jerusalem.

As well as exploring Israeli and Palestinian attitudes to the Palestinian bid to the UN to obtain recognition as an independent state, the poll looked at other topical domestic issues within each population.

In response to questions about the Palestinian appeal at the UN, 83% of the Palestinians surveyed supported the move to obtain recognition for their state. Majorities on both sides, 77% of the Palestinians and 79% of the Israelis, believed that the US would use its veto power in the UN Security Council in order to prevent the UN from admitting the state of Palestine as a UN member.

In the face of UN recognition of a Palestinian state, 69% of Israelis thought that Israel should accept the decision and either start negotiations with the Palestinians about its implementation (34%) or not allow any change on the ground by the Palestinians (35%); 16% believed Israel should oppose the decision and intensify the construction in the settlements; 7% think that Israel should annex the PA territory to Israel; and 4% think Israel should invade the PA territories and use force to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Faced with the same scenario, Palestinian participants of the survey answered on how they thought Israel might be made to withdraw from PA territory: 26% of Palestinians supported a return to armed attacks on army and settlers; 37% thought peaceful non-violent resistance could be successful; and 30% supported negotiations with Israel. 54% of Palestinians in the West Bank said they would join large peaceful demonstrations in the West Bank and Jerusalem if they were to take place after the recognition of the Palestinian state.

Regarding the recent social protests in Israel, 44% of Israelis would favor the protest movement becoming a political party. If such a party participated in the next elections, 27% of the Israelis claimed that they would vote for it. Two thirds of Palestinians thought that the rising cost of living and their inability to provide a better future for themselves and their families could push them to demonstrate as well.

The Palestinian sample size comprised 1,200 adults interviewed face-to-face in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in 120 randomly selected locations between September 15 and 17, 2011. The margin of error was 3%. The Israeli sample included 605 Israeli adults interviewed by phone between September 11-14, 2011. The margin of error was 4%.


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