Less than half of Americans support the idea of President Barack Obama backing or sponsoring a UN resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict before he leaves office, a new poll conducted for the Brookings Institute and released Friday finds.
The poll found that 46% of Americans say that they either strongly or somewhat support the Obama administration backing or sponsoring such a resolution. 25% of Americans neither oppose nor support this resolution, while 27 percent either strongly or somewhat oppose it.
On the issue of Obama supporting or sponsoring a UN resolution to end Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria before he leaves office, 40% of Americans either strongly or somewhat support this. 23% of Americans neither oppose nor support and 33 percent either strongly or somewhat oppose this resolution.
Democrats are significantly more likely than both Republicans and Independents to back Obama’s support or sponsorship for such a resolution, the poll found.
65% of Democrats either strongly or somewhat support this whereas only 16% of Republicans and 28% of Independents do. In contrast, Republicans are more than five times as likely to either strongly or somewhat oppose this (57%) as Democrats (11%).
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has in recent years several times initiated unilateral resolutions at the UN Security Council which seek to condemn Israel over its construction in Judea and Samaria and force a peace settlement on the Jewish state.
There have been concerns that Obama, freed of re-election concerns, will advance such resolutions or break with American protocol and refrain from vetoing them if they are voted upon before he leaves office.
A group of 88 senators recently urged Obama to continue to maintain the long-standing U.S. policy of vetoing one-sided UN resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian Arab issue.
Similarly, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton last week called on Obama not to not take any actions before leaving office that could hurt Israel at the UN.
The poll also dealt with the question of how the U.S. should react to news of new Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria.
In November 2016, when asked how they believed the U.S. should react to new “settlements”, a majority of Americans (52%) supported the U.S. doing nothing or limiting opposition to words. Republicans and Independents were more likely to agree with this (68% and 54% respectively) than most Americans and Democrats were less likely (37%).
Overall, the survey found, Americans supporting a U.S. veto of a UN resolution on Palestinian statehood remain a minority (31%), including 51% of Republicans but only 16% of Democrats.
When asked what they think the U.S. should do as a member of the UN Security Council if the UN considers a plan to endorse the establishment of a Palestinian state, 32% say that the U.S. should abstain from voting, 31% say that the U.S. should vote against endorsing the establishment of a Palestinian state, and 34% believe the U.S. should vote in favor of endorsing the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Meanwhile, most Americans, 76%, across party lines said they agree that Israel is a strategic asset to the US. At the same time, a majority of Democrats, 55% say that Israel is also a burden.
A large majority of Americans (76%) agree that Israel is an important ally to the United States as it provides essential military and intelligence cooperation and plays a regional role that’s helpful to American interests.