LONDON – A new proposal seeking the UN recognition of an independent Palestinian state is gaining greater world support, a BBC global poll showed on Monday, September 19.
The poll, jointly conducted by the BBC and GlobeScan, has surveyed opinions of total of 20,466 people in 19 countries across the globe.
It found 49% supported the proposal while 21% said their government should oppose it.
Surprisingly, the poll results showed greater support for the bid even in countries where opposition was strongest, including the US and Philippines.
In both countries, 36% voted against the resolution while 45% of Americans and 56% of Filipinos backed recognition.
The lowest level of support was in India, with 32% in favor and 25% opposed, with many undecided.
Support was strongest in Egypt, where 90% were in favor and only 9% opposed.
In other Muslim countries, Turkey recorded 60% support, 19% opposition; Pakistan 52% for, 12% against; and Indonesia 51% for, 16% against.
Chinese were among the most enthusiastic supporters, with 56% in favor and just 9% opposed.
In the largest three European Union member states, the poll showed a greater public support with France showing (54% support, 20% opposition), Germany (53% v 28%) and the UK (53% v 26%).
People included in the survey were interviewed, either face-to-face or by telephone between 3 July and 29 August this year.
The Palestinians are planning to seek UN recognition of their state during the UN General Assembly meeting on September 23.
The move comes following the collapse of US-sponsored peace talks over Israel's refusal to freeze settlement building in the occupied West Bank.
The United States has threatened to veto any Palestinian statehood resolution at the UN Security Council.
If so, the Palestinians can ask the General Assembly to elevate their UN status from an observer to a "non-state member."
World support was also widely reflected through online campaigns initiated by activists to support the cause on the social media website Facebook.
“Despite pressure from Western countries, we are asking for full membership at the Security Council,” a page titled “10 Million signatures for a Palestinian State on September” on the social network Facebook, posted.
“Yes Obama, we can too! You will have your moment of shame casting your veto!” said the page, which has 3,902 members.
The page was one of many campaigns which have been initiated on Facebook urging world support for the Palestinian UN statehood bid.
The online pages post news, songs and facts concerning Palestine as well as atrocities committed by Israel since the 1948 occupation.
“Moving to UN is deliberately great step,” an activist who supports the cause posted on “Palestinian Independent State” Facebook page.
“I hope it will get through otherwise we all know the consequences,” he said. Some activists urge the US to support the cause and abandon a veto.
“Recognizing Palestine is the right thing to do — for the UN, and the US,” activist Misbah Rahman posted on “Palestinian Independent State”.
“When the Oslo accords established the framework for a negotiated, two-state solution in 1993, there were 100,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank — now there are 300,000.”
To their surprise, Facebook activists noticed the launch of an Israeli page of the Facebook supporting UN recognition of an independent Palestinian state.
“We believe that the initiative towards a Palestinian state is a positive initiative a step towards the two state solution, which is the practical and moral solution - and is an Israeli interest as well as a Palestinian Interest,” read a post on Facebook page “Israelis Supporting the Upcoming Creation of a Palestinian State.”
Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu has been touring Europe this year seeking support for the Israeli stance to ensure that major countries would shun the Palestinian move.
What worries Israel most is that the upgrading of the Palestinian status will strengthen the Palestinian ability to pursue cases against Israel at the International Criminal Court.
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