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. Tony in Maine

    As my mother used to say, "Mind your own business." These people have been fighting off and on for three thousand years. The idea that we could impose our will is laughable. The only reason we are stroking over this and not East Timor is domestic politics. it's time to worry about people who want our help – and not help killing their enemies.

    November 19, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. anna lee

    🔴🔴🔴🔴🔴 🔴 It's the same "poll" that had Romney ahead. I wish both groups would take surfing lessons during a tsunami

    November 19, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. Way I see it

    It is pretty clear. No country in the world would sit back and allow rockets to terrorize their populace. By the way.. what happened to the thousands being killed by their government in Syria? Nobody seems to care. What do those Democrats have to say about that?

    November 19, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  4. reginaldb6

    I understand protecting your country, but Israel may have brought on these attacks by its refusal to open the boarders, and negotiate with the Palestinian.

    November 19, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  5. Carlaaa

    What do you expect given the pathetically one sided news coverage by the US media?

    November 19, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  6. sonny chapman

    Israel has the right to defend itself against rocket attacks, but if you keep a million folks bottled up in Gaza w/no hope, this is gonna keep happening. Israel is on an unsustainable path. It can't keep slapping down the Palestinians evry time they get sick of their situation & explode.

    November 19, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  7. v_mag

    People seem to have forgotten that Israel pushed the Palestinian people out of their own country and established a government that marginalized the non-Jews who were left. They have been pushing these folks for over 60 years, edging them ever closer to oblivion, and all with American help. Our support of Israel has gotten us mired in Middle East politics all these years and has been a main cause for retaliatory attacks on our country.

    However, Israel has a well-funded lobby that propagandizes America to gain continued support for their high-handed tactics and abuse. The poll numbers show how well that massive propaganda machine has worked. Americans should familiarize themselves with the real history and divorce themselves from Christian fantasies of Armageddon based on the Book of Revelation.

    November 19, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  8. TheTruth

    There is no way this is true. This poll has to be skewed based on the large number of Jews in the media. Isreal has been committng these crimes for centuries starting with their illegal occupation. I certainly do not believe this poll and I would say the rest of world does not view things this way. Typical US/Israeli propaganda!

    November 19, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  9. Mister Wizards Little Friend Timmy

    I am as liberal as they come, but i think Israel should
    take off the gloves and put an end to this garbage.
    Shooting rockets at civilians is an act of war.
    You get what you give.

    November 19, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  10. Jake Jackson

    Si the math here correct? The article claims that 57% of the sample supports Israel,and then says that "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." Nine percent of the sample is missing, yes?

    November 19, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  11. Jason

    Propaganda works!

    November 19, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  12. DN

    If someone holding a baby walks up to you and punches you in the face, would you just stand there and do nothing? If you hit that person, the baby being held will likely be hurt, too. That's what the media is showing with pics of Palestinian victims. The Palestinians are putting their missile launchers as mosques and schools. Think about that.

    The Palestinians elected Hamas as their leader. That's like us electing Al Queda to lead us. Hamas is a terrorist organization.

    How many Arab nations are there? Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and more.
    How many Jewish nations are there? Israel. That's it. Think about that.

    November 19, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  13. Karaya

    Most American people do not see how they are being played and dragged into yet another war half a globe away with the country that poses no real or imaginary threat to them whatsoever...

    November 19, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. I hate politicians!

    I don't know who they polled in that bogus poll but everyone that I know including myself thinks that Israel is an evil terrorist state that manipulates the U.S. to get what it wants.

    November 19, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. Chris

    So only 40% of democrats think it's okay for Israel to defend themselves. Explains why democrats booed at the DNC when Obama forced them to add God and support for Israel back into their platform.

    November 19, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. ConfucianScholar

    All of the dimwits who are against the Israeli attack on Gaza because they fancy themselves peace-loving humanitarians were not peace-loving humanitarians one month before the attack, when Hamas was shooting rockets daily at the civilian Israeli population with murderous intent.

    November 19, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  17. Data Driven

    Not sure how I feel about the military strikes yet, but I know I'm against the Israeli propaganda campaign on Facebook and Twitter. Really annoying, guys.

    November 19, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  18. DN

    I'm calling out every single Democrat that does not support Israel. I'm a Democrat and I'm 100% behind the country.
    Why aren't you? You should be ashamed of yourself.

    November 19, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. bibleverse1

    I am for peace. Its a horrible situation with no easy answers.

    November 19, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  20. Just a thought

    I kindly ask you to take a look at the history of Israel's map – between 1946 and 2000 . It'll make sense why people in Gaza are upset and scared. They have every right to be.

    November 19, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  21. Andee

    Americans are being fed lies, of course they will side with Israel. However, 57% is a slight majority. I'm glad to see that so many, 43%, are able to see through the propaganda.

    November 19, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  22. Imad

    If the media present both sides and not the Israeli side, then we will see different results.

    November 19, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  23. Thomas

    As long as the Israelis keep building in the territories , nothing will change.

    November 19, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. Brian

    Statistics don't reveal everything. If statistics are going to be used, they need to be more thorough.

    What is the percentage of Americans that reallly "understand" the conflict?

    I'm guessing there is a smaller percentage of people who have "taken the time" to understand this history of this conflict before rushing to a CNN opinion about it.

    CNN needs to ask the "right" questions...

    November 19, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  25. Dee

    This will be a never ending war... This poll is dumb , people need to understand the History of this war/ Conflict .. A certain group of people seem to think it's OK to invade other people's Land and think it's not cool for them to fight back..

    November 19, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
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