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Americans need to know more
By Dr Musa A Keilani September 13, 2010
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PESSIMISM about the fate of the resumed peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians has spread to Americans, a new opinion poll has found.

The survey found that most Americans are indeed following the talks which were launched in Washington in early September, but are not optimistic in regards to the chances of the process to succeed.

The survey was conducted during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the US capital.

It found that most Americans believe the Palestinians will not recognise Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Most Americans also believe the chances of Israel accepting the creation of a Palestinian state are low.

Here is an online news agency report about the survey.

"Seventy-seven per cent of all US voters say they have been following recent news stories about Middle East peace talks at least somewhat closely, the Rasmussen survey revealed. Some 35 per cent said they were following the news very closely, while 42 per cent said they were following the reports “somewhat closely.”
Some 77 per cent of respondents said they believe Palestinian leaders should be required to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state as part of a peace agreement. However, 64 per cent believe this is unlikely to happen.
Only 25 per cent said it was very or somewhat likely that the Palestinian leadership would recognise Israel as a Jewish state.
The Americans believe the chances of a Palestinian state being established are not high. Some 51 per cent believe that as part of a Middle Eastern peace agreement, Israel should be required to accept the creation of a Palestinian state (27 per cent object and 22 per cent are not sure), but only six per cent believe it is very likely that Israel would accept the creation of a Palestinian state.
Thirty-six per cent believe it is somewhat likely, 38 per cent believe it is not very likely and the remaining nine per cent are convinced that Israel will not allow the creation of a Palestinian state.

Equally important as the finding of the survey is that more American people are taking note of the issues at stake in the peace negotiations. They might not be too familiar with the details, but their increasing awareness should be used by the Arab side.

It would take a concerted push, but here are a few things that the Americans should know.

The Americans should know that it is Israel that is violating international law by refusing to return the occupied territories to the Palestinians and allow the creation of a Palestinian state there, and this is at the core of the dispute.

The Americans should know that Israel is ungrateful to the massive economic and military aid that the US offers it every year and would not hesitate to challenge their president and government to suit interests.

The Americans should know that it is their country’s “strategic alliance” with Israel is at the root of the “extremist” threat that it faces and that the Jewish state is in fact a liability rather than an asset to the US.

The Americans should know that the Palestinians at large have already accepted Israel as a reality and even Hamas is ready to accept a Palestinian state created in the territories that the Jewish state occupied in the 1967 war.

The Americans should know that Israel is not interested in the two-state solution and it wants to force down its own version of a “peace” agreement down the Palestinian throat. That agreement would not have any respect for the Palestinians’ rights in Arab East Jerusalem or the right of the Palestinian refugees.

These are the factors that make this part of the world sceptical of the outcome of the peace negotiations. Even worse is that if the US fails to deliver a fair and just agreement to the Palestinians, then there would be a massive surge in anti-US sentiments in the Arab and Muslim worlds.

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