Americans support UN recognition of Palestine

Here are some numbers President Obama should think about: Americans currently view him less favorably than they do UN recognition of Palestine! Obama’s approval rating is 43% while 45% support Palestine.

In a poll conducted for the BBC, Americans (among 20,446 citizens from 19 countries) were asked the following question:

As you may know, the Palestinian Authority is planning to request that the UN General Assembly recognize the Palestinian Territories as a state and as a member of the UN. Do you think [RESPONDENT’S COUNTRY] should vote for or against this request?

The response from Americans was 45% in favor, 36% opposed, 2% abstain, 17% undecided.

Globally, the public is five to two in favor of UN recognition of Palestine.

Even though less than a majority of Americans polled support the move, that number along with the large number who are undecided, needs to be put into perspective.

US media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is heavily skewed in favor of the Israelis. Israel’s political leaders and Israel’s American supporters have characterized the Palestinian initiative as an attempt to delegitimize the Jewish state. The Palestinians do not have a charismatic leader whose face can serve as an iconic, positive and internationally recognized image of Palestinian nationalism. And yet in spite of the prevailing pressure to oppose the move, more Americans than those who think otherwise, support Palestine’s admission to the UN.

Most likely, this has much less to do with an interest or understanding of the conflict than it is an expression of an idea that most Americans readily accept: people should be allowed to govern themselves.

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6 thoughts on “Americans support UN recognition of Palestine

  1. Colm O' Toole

    Wow that is a surprising number from the US, I expected lower from them. Also looks like China is majorly Pro-Palestinian only 9% would vote against the statehood bid. Big fail from India with the lowest level of support of any major power.

  2. omop

    A quote from by Dr. Brzenzski. september 19, 2011.

    “If we take a vote against Palestinian Independence in the UN, it is not only a serious strategic error but a tragic historical error.” — Zbigniew Brzenzski

  3. KFritz

    Is anyone else surprised @ the opposition to Palestinian statehood around the world? I’d thought that it would be uniformly low outside the US and Canada. If you can make an informed comment on this, please do. Israel would seem not to be as universally unpopular as I’d thought.

  4. Colm O' Toole


    “If you can make an informed comment on this, please do. Israel would seem not to be as universally unpopular as I’d thought.”

    Two things to bear in mind. Firstly the HIGHEST the Israeli position polled in any country was 36% (in the Philippines and US) so that is pretty unpopular, if not universally unpopular.

    Secondly it might seem that other countries are more Anti-Israel than they appear because there political leaders are more free to stand up Israel without worrying about Israeli lobbies or Jewish votes like the US is.

    Could be what surprised me about how unpopular Israel is in the US (given what its political leaders say) is what surprised you about how the rest of the world feels (given what the leaders of those countries say).

    But all in all a maximum of 36% support in a few countries and lower in most is a sign of how unpopular they are (if you universally unpopular).

  5. Ian Arbuckle

    Is it significant that the Philippines has an Moro (Muslim) independence movement The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and India has the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, again a Muslim majority? Islamofobia is unfortunately not limited to the Western countries with dominant Christian Judaic roots. And why Ghana? Is this the Christian fundamentalists at work?

    It seems perhaps that opinions on world issues may be more coloured by domestic prejudice than by a desire for universal human rights or justice. I might be wrong though.

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