In November 2011, the Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA), in co-operation with the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN), Australians for Palestine and the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine (CJPP), commissioned social research on Australian attitudes to Palestine and Israel. The major findings of this survey are detailed below.
Key Findings of the 2011 Opinion Poll
- 64% of Australians do not support the building of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land.
- 51% of Australians want our Government to recognise Palestine as a State at the United Nations; 20% think Australia should abstain on their UN vote; only 15% do not support recognition of Palestine at the UN.
MEDIA RELEASE, 8 November 2011 - AFOPA, AFP, APAN, CJPP
AUSTRALIAN VOTERS SUPPORT PALESTINE
Three in five Australians believe the United Nations should now recognise Palestine as one of its member States according to a poll conducted by Roy Morgan Research Pty Ltd.
The results are part of an independent national poll done by the respected Roy Morgan Research company.
“This is an outstanding result as it reflects the Australian people’s overwhelming support for the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians to be freed from 40 plus years of brutal military occupation” said Ms Samah Sabawi, Public Advocate, Australians for Palestine.
The poll also found that 63 percent of Australians do not support Israeli settlers building homes on occupied Palestinian land.
“Settlement building is without doubt the single biggest obstacle to peace. Israel continues to build and expand these settlements in direct violation of International Law” said Ms Sabawi.
With a vote on Palestine due at the United Nations before the end of November, the support for an Australian ‘Yes’ vote was more than three times that of a ‘No’ vote.
The Morgan poll asked respondents: “In order for Palestine to be recognized as a full member state of the United Nations, existing member Nations must enter a vote of ‘yes’, ‘no’ or abstain from voting. In your opinion, how should Australia vote?”
A majority – 51 percent – agreed Australia should vote “yes”, whilst only 15 percent said “no”. Twenty percent believed that Australia should abstain from voting.
“The strong support for a ‘Yes’ vote demonstrates that Australian voters support the bid by Palestine. This should encourage the Labor Government, led by Prime Minister Gillard, to position itself in-line with public opinion and on the right side of history” concluded Ms Sabawi.
As a collective of broad-based advocacy groups in Australia, we ask that the Government heed the call of the public and condemn the illegal settlements being constructed by Israel and support the rights of the Palestinians.