November 19th, 2012
10:56 AM ET
1 year ago

CNN Poll: 57% of Americans say Israeli attacks in Gaza are justified

Washington (CNN) – A majority of Americans say that Israel's current military strikes against Gaza are justified, according to a new national survey.

A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday indicates that 57% of the public says Israel is justified in taking military action in Gaza against Hamas, with one in four saying the attacks are unjustified.

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The fighting began last week with rocket attacks into Israel from Gaza, to which Israel responded with an aerial offensive. Palestinian emergency services said Monday that nearly 100 people have been killed in Gaza, with around 750 injured. The Israel Defense Forces said three people in Israel have been killed, with nearly 70 injured.

The fighting has raised fears of a widening conflict, and the possibility of a repeat of Israel's 2008 invasion of Gaza following similar rocket attacks by Hamas into Israel.

"Although most Americans think the Israeli actions are justified, there are key segments of the public who don't necessarily feel that way," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Only four in ten Democrats think the Israeli actions in Gaza are justified, compared to 74% of Republicans and 59% of independents. Support for Israel's military action is 13 points higher among men than among women, and 15 points higher among older Americans than among younger Americans."

According to the survey, nearly six in ten say their sympathies are with the Israelis, with 13% saying they side more with the Palestinians and 11% saying their sympathies are with neither side in the conflict.

"That's nothing new," added Holland. "The number of Americans who sympathize more with the Palestinians has never been higher than 18% since the question was first asked in 1988. Sympathies for Israel have sometimes dipped below 50%, but have been over that mark for the past eight years."

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from November 16-18, with 1,023 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

soundoff (203 Responses)
  1. Name

    As for the current crisis, it can be simply said that this was escalated by the Israeli's to deflect attention away from the planned Palestinian Authority's bid to announce its intention for statehood schedules at the UN assembly Nov. 29th. To undermine them, as they have done many times before, the Israeli's agitate the Gazans and wait for an opportunity to attack making them look like they were the victims. I ask you with a sincere question. What tanks do the Palestinians have to defend themselves? How about anti-aircraft missiles? A fighter jet? None! The rockets are allowed to be kept as an arsenal because of its inaccurate capabilities as is witnessed today. In turn, Israel unleashes an unproportionate response to ensure that public opinion remains in their favor, as is always the case of being portraited as the victim even though they by far have the most modern technology of weaponry by far in the Middle East!

    November 19, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. ApplePienallthatisNice

    I thought that the reason Israel gets attacked is because it is stealing Palestinian land.

    November 19, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  3. Anas Khalil

    100% of muslims wants israel wiped out from earth...hows that for a poll

    November 19, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
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