Bethlehem Three-quarters of Americans think that Israel should not build settlements on occupied Palestinian land, according to an opinion poll released on Wednesday.
The poll, organized by WorldPublicOpinion.org, a project run by researchers at the University of Maryland, found that one third of Americans “show more sympathy for Israel than the Palestinians, substantially more than the 12 percent who express more sympathy for the Palestinians.”However the largest number, 51 percent, expressed “equal levels of sympathy for each side. The percentage expressing equal levels of sympathy is up 10 points from 2002.”
Even those respondents who said they sympathize more with Israel“feel that it should not be building settlements in the West Bank by a clear majority (64%), as do those who sympathize equally with Israel and the Palestinians (80%), and those who sympathize more with the Palestinians (96%).”
“Opposition to settlements is found among majorities of Republicans (65%), Democrats (83%) and independents (74%),” the survey of 1,004 respondents found.
The argument used by the researchers was suggested by the Palestinian delegation at the UN and read as follows: “UN resolutions 242 and 338, which were endorsed by nearly all members of the UN, including the US, called for Israel to withdraw from territories it invaded in the 1967 war. Thus, for Israel to build new settlements in these areas is illegal under international law."
The Israeli embassy in Washington suggested the following argument in favor of settlement: "Israel has a right to build settlements in the West Bank and Gaza because Jews have lived in these areas for centuries and have legitimate historical claims to property there." source
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