WASHINGTON - A recent poll conducted by the University of Maryland in 18 countries revealed that 71% of Americans would prefer that the US stay neutral when it comes to the Mideast conflict.
In 13 others countries covered in the poll, respondents also said they wanted their government to remain neutral on the issue. In no country did the majority back the Israeli stand, while those residing in Egypt, Iran and Turkey said they wanted their governments to support the Palestinian side.
The poll, carried out by WorldPublicOpinion.org and University of Maryland questioned a total of 18,792 people and involved research institutes in the 18 countries examined, which included China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Britain, France and Russia, among others. Overall, the survey was meant to represent 59% of the world's population.
'Israel plays negative role'
In all 18 countries, respondents gave low grades to all the sides involved in negotiations – Israel, the Palestinians, Arab countries, and the Americans; Israel received the lowest grade. A total of 54% of respondents said Israel does not fill a positive role in the peace process, while only 22% said it was conducting itself properly. Overall, 59% of Americans said Israel was not doing enough, figures that contradict other polls showing solid support for Israel's positions.
Only in India, more people said Israel plays a positive role (35%) than those who said it was playing a negative role (25%).
Meanwhile, the Palestinians received much higher grades than Israel, with respondents in 10 countries saying the Palestinians were doing enough to resolve the conflict with Israel. The most critical of the Palestinians were the Americans (75%), the South Koreans (74%), and the French (66%).