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. InvestMattA

    Gaza has declared war on Israel. It's elected government has stated its goal as being the murder of every Israeli Jew as it fires missiles indiscriminately at Israeli civilians. Let me repeat: the elected government of Gaza has declared its goal the murder of every Israeli Jew. Israel has a right, no, a responsibility, to protect its citizens from its genocidal enemies by all means possible. You must distinguish between the murderer and the policeman trying to prevent the murderer from succeeding. That is the essence of morality. All moral responsibility for non-combat deaths lie with the Gazans. Any person with a moral compass should support Israel.

    November 19, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. SouthernConservativeMusician

    There is no place called "Palestine" and there never has been. Just think of all these people could accomplish if they only turned their efforts toward something good for humanity instead of teaching their children how to hate the Jews. Now that the Muslim doctrine has infested the Arab world, nothing good will ever come from this region of the world. It will continue to fester as a cancer on modern society. Sooner or later the rest of the world will have to deal with this cancer.

    November 19, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. Avi

    As A Jewish American and 22 year USAF Veteran, It angers me when uneducated folks side chair quarterback israel. Seven years ago my Uncle and his family were forced to leave their home in Gush Katif (Northern gaza) to give land for peace deal with PLO. They have been firing missles from there ever since. Jerks from around the globe have beaten israel up every time it defends and reacts to these attacks! I for one am sick and tired and would like to hunt down these terrorist and all those who bash israel and end this once and for all! To anyone that attacks israel or talks bad about her should be chased down and illiminated. If you side with terrosist then you should be trated as a terrorist. And let G-D deal with you! If you don't like this country then get out! You do not provide supportfor america or israel then get out and don't come back!

    November 19, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. Tommy G

    It was a mistake to give Gaza to the PLO and now Hamas has taken it over. It was totally forseeable that Israel would end up being the target of endless rocket attacks. They did the same thing from southern Lebanon for years. The Palestinians in Gaza have no interest in living in peace. Israel needs to simply push them all into the sea and let them go elsewhere. They had their chance and they blew it. They have nobody to blame but themselves. What country would have tolerated this insanity this long? Nobody. Israel has been far too patient while their civilians have been mercilessly attacked by random missile strikes. Send in the bull dozers and level the place.

    November 19, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. Bill from GA

    Let's end the Charade:

    Bomb Iran until their nuke capability is non-existent, waste a few more Hamas leaders, then relocate Israel to southern Arizona and New Mexico.

    Turn the area formally known as Israel into a UN Religious Park, for ALL. (HolyLandLand)

    November 19, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. ugh

    Who cares if most Americans back Israel – most Americans also backed Obama.....!

    November 19, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. Unknown

    It's time that we say 'NO MORE' to Israel. Trillions of dollars sent but not once asked where they are spending the money...

    November 19, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. Kevin

    57 percent of the poll ran by Jews does not constitude right for Israel, 43% think Gaza is right.

    November 19, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. NameDavid

    Steve, I guess the native Indians were terrorist too when they fought against European occupation in what is now known as America.

    November 19, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. donna

    Read the bible.. If u are blessed with wisdom n knowledge u will understand how every thing started n how it will end! some will live with god forever n peace n others wont see the light ever! open ur eyes n ears n hear the truth! all these things must happen for profecesy to b fullfilled! its just a matter of time for all this evil stuff to end! look up!

    November 19, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. thetruth

    Omair where r u from and where do u live? I hope u dont live in the US.

    November 19, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. AnAmerican

    @Sam s you hit the nail in the head. I agree with you. The US media don't show the dead kids killed by Israel. The killing of civilians and good innocent people should be condemn. If Israel doesn't know where to aim their rockets then don't shoot.

    November 19, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. Keyser

    SCM....Ahhhh....check your bible southern Man. Your Jesus Christ is a Palestinian. You would side against the homeland of your lord and savior. I respect your lust for adventure.

    November 19, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  14. Jonathan

    Israel has a right to defend itself. I don't agree with Hamas and their tactics in this case. The problem is Israel occupies a country that they took from the Palestinians. Sorry South Conservative-you're completely wrong. Just curious, why is that evangelicals are so in love with a people whose religion doesn't recognize the MOST IMPORTANT person in yours?

    November 19, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  15. Carol

    The issues between Israel & the Palestinians are VERY complex...II have long wondered why the Arab nations, Jordan especially, who so staunchly support Palestinian statehood, aren't willing to contribute land to set up and Independent state for the Palestinians. They constantly lament the conditions of their Arab "brothers," but NEVER offer a solution.Oh, that's right, they have stated wiping Israel off the face of the Earth as a goal. Pardon me for not giving credit where credit is due!

    November 19, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  16. ssijaz

    only 3 israeli killed – 88 palestinians. This is open genocide. Israel kill Gazan every day and in response get rockets mostly without a war head . They are just like the fireworks we use on 4th of July. those 3 Israeli were the only casuality. However before even rockets fired by Hamas Israel killed few Palestinians without any reason. Israeli are so paranoid that even rock throwing kids seems terrorist to them. Recently they killed a mentally challaged adult and a 10 year old boy who was just playing foot bell( not even throwing rocks) that why situation escalated. American people listen to media and propaganda sponsored by a specific group. People are considered antisemetic if they speak against jews no matter what but if they talk against Muslim its ok. I even read that people in these blogs are talking about killing all the Muslims and drinking their kid's blood and so on and so forth. However if any body post some historic truths and facts against Jews they are suddenly becomes antisemetic and get in trouble.

    November 19, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. jorge washinsen

    We might have been attacked for our support of Israel when 9-11 happened but Israel did not attack us.We do not have any friends anywhere even the ones we waste our wealth on.

    November 19, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. Coward Israel

    How cowardly are Israelis they r killing and screaming bloody murder. The tides have begun their shifting and no one will bring back the good all days when Israel had a pass from us an eu to kill are over time to pay for it own mistakes Israel. USA is for Americans not for Israel.

    November 19, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. AnAmerican

    @InvestMatta so you support the killing of civilians??? if so then kill your family and yourself. (being sarcastic, don't do it, I don't want to be blamed if you really do it). By the way if the word Invest in your name hhmm let's see... o yeah you are Jewish... so I'm not surprise you are bias.

    November 19, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. Expat American

    jp of arlington
    Anyone that would support Hamas, and/or the palestinians, is either brain dead or a terrorist supporter.
    ----
    It's not as black and white or simple as that.

    November 19, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. Stuemt

    When will the world finally get the message??? You can't negotiate with people that are willing to die for their cause!!!!

    November 19, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  22. jim

    Avi,

    There is hope my friend.

    With almost all the coverage being pro-Arab/anti-Israeli or attempting to make a moral equivalency argument, 57% of Americans still see the obvious truth. We all know that Israel is not innocent (as every nation on the planet) but since these Arabs have been decaring death to Israel since 1948, this has nothing to do with settlements or anything else as the press tries to get people to believe.

    Shalom Tov

    November 19, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. josebear5

    Why don't we give the indians back there country we took it over .you bunch of hypocrites. do as I say not as I do.

    November 19, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. richard phillips

    What would happen if hamas fired a missile at Jerusalem and hit the dome of the rock wouldn't Israel be able to rebuild the temple?

    November 19, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  25. Kekkel

    When have arabs metamorposed into palestinian natives?

    November 19, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
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