U.S. voters want negotiated Mideast peace

June 14, 2011 at 12:00 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 14 (UPI) -- Nearly 60 percent of U.S. voters oppose the Palestinian Authority's effort to win U.N. recognition for an independent state, a poll released Tuesday indicated.

The poll for The Israel Project was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies. The survey found opposition to the Palestinian Authority tactic has grown from about 51 percent in April, when President Mahmoud Abbas first proposed it.

Most U.S. political leaders, including President Barack Obama, oppose what the project called in its news release "a one-sided Palestinian statehood grab." The poll found views on the issue cut across party lines.

About half of those surveyed said a unilateral declaration of independence would make peace negotiations harder, and 57 percent said it would harden extreme views on both sides.

"The U.S. electorate clearly understands that unilateral action cannot bring peace to the region," said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, the project's founder. Settling this conflict is a very complex issue and we continue to encourage the Palestinians to reject the involvement of the terrorist group Hamas and return to the negotiating table so that the needs and concerns of both sides can be addressed. Both sides deserve a better future."

The poll of 800 registered voters was conducted by telephone June 5-7. The margin of error is 3.46 percentage points.

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