A majority of the British public believe the UK should recognise Palestine as a state, according to the results of a new YouGov poll published Monday.
53 percent of respondents said they agree with such a step, as opposed to just 14 percent who disagreed (33 percent said they were ‘neutral’).
Responding to the poll, Manuel Hassassian, Palestinian ambassador to the UK, said public opinion has been shifting. “I have been here for 11 years and have noticed dramatic changes in the British public’s views on Palestine”, he said.
“That only 14 percent say they wouldn’t want the Palestinian state to receive recognition is an indication of the Palestinian cause worldwide being accepted”, he added.
The poll also addressed views amongst the British public towards the Balfour Declaration, whose centenary will be marked in November.
According to the poll, opinion is deeply divided over the Balfour Declaration: 32 percent of Brits think it is something to be proud of, while 27 percent consider it “something to be regretted” (and 41 percent selected ‘Neither’).
The poll also revealed a partisan divide, with a striking plurality (32 percent) of those who voted Labour in the last election viewing the Balfour Declaration as something to be regretted. Among Conservative voters, on the other hand, 40 percent view the historical document with pride, and only 21 percent with regret.
The poll also asked whether, “given Britain’s historic role”, the country has “a particular responsibility to help sort out the Israeli-Palestinian conflict now”, to which 55 percent responded ‘No’, and 45 percent answered ‘Yes’.