CNN Poll: Majority of Americans side with Israel in Gaza fighting
Posted by CNN Political Unit July 21st, 2014
Washington (CNN) – A majority of Americans say Israel’s military actions in
Gaza are justified, with only four in 10 saying that Israel has used too
much force, according to a new national poll.
But a CNN/ORC International survey conducted Friday through Sunday also
indicates that favorable opinions of Israel have edged down since earlier
The poll was released Monday, as the death toll in the current conflict
Death toll mounts as U.S. pushes for cease-fire
Monday Palestinians officials reported more killed, bringing the death toll
to around 550. It’s unknown how many were militants, but the United Nations
has estimated that 70% are civilians. Israel announced Monday that seven
more of its soldiers were killed, bringing to 25 the number of Israeli
soldiers who have died. Two Israeli civilians have also been killed.
According to the poll, 57% of the public said the Israeli actions against
Hamas, the Palestinian organization that runs Gaza, are justified, with just
over a third saying they are unjustified.
Forty-three percent of those questioned said Israel’s using about the right
amount of force, with 12% saying they’re not using enough. Nearly four in 10
said Israel is using too much force in Gaza.
“Attitudes toward Israeli military action have been extremely stable over
the years,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “In 2012, an
identical 57% thought that Israel’s actions against Hamas in Gaza were
justified. And in 2009, the number of Americans who felt that way was only a
few points higher, at 63%.”
“Support for U.S. military aid to Israel also remains fairly stable, with
almost two-thirds of Americans saying that U.S. assistance to Israel should
be increased or kept the same,” Holland added.
The survey indicates that 38% have an unfavorable opinion of Israel, up 14
percentage points from February. Sixty percent said they have a favorable
opinion of Israel, down from 72% in February. But that 60% favorable rating
is three times higher than the 20% of Americans who have a positive view of
the Palestinian Authority, the governing body that runs the West Bank.
If the bloodshed continues for a while, don’t be surprised if some partisan
bickering over the fighting in Gaza breaks out in the United States as the
poll suggests a partisan divide.
Forty-five percent of Democrats questioned said that Israeli’s military
actions in Gaza are justified. That number jumps to 56% among independents
and 73% among Republicans.
Photos: Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza
The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from July 18-20, with
1,012 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey’s overall sampling
error is plus or minus three percentage points.
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report
IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis
Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on Arab-Israeli relations
IMRA is now also on Twitter
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