CNN Poll: Majority of Americans side with Israel in Gaza fighting
July 21st, 2014
05:01 PM ET
3 months ago

CNN Poll: Majority of Americans side with Israel in Gaza fighting

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 this year.

The poll was released Monday, as the death toll in the current conflict soared.

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


Filed under: CNN/ORC International poll • CNN/ORC poll • Gaza
soundoff (273 Responses)
  1. Héctor Lebrón

    Add my name to the list of the too much force column!

    July 21, 2014 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. Bigwilliestyles

    I wonder who they're polling. Everyone i talk to considers what Isreal is doing (during open conflict and during "quiet times", amounts to nothing less than the planned genocide of a peoples; something the jews have no passing knowledge of.

    July 21, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    A partisan divide and partisan bickering as bloodshed continues ... ? Say it ain't so.

    July 21, 2014 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  4. He who funds your EBT card

    Justified? How many rockets need to blow up civilians before retaliation is "justified"? The 34% that don't agree are most likely obama supporters as they have no concept of rational thinking.

    July 21, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. Alex

    Food for thought: Over 1 millions Arabs living in Israel with full rights. They are doctors, merchants, members of the government, students.

    July 21, 2014 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  6. Alex

    Food for thought: Roads, government offices, museums, hospitals etc all have signs in Hebrew, English and Arabic. I wonder why Arabic if they hate them so much.

    July 21, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "CNN Poll: Americans clearly side with Israel in Gaza fighting"

    Reality: American MSM and politicians clearly train the public to side with Israel in Gaza fighting.

    There can be no peace when the party with the clear advantage of might is willing to continue using it (and abusing it). It's never happen. Israel creates more future generations of people who hate them every single time they knock down a school with a bunker bomb or kill Palestinians in a ratio of 500:1.

    July 21, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  8. Alex

    Food for thought: Why in Israel are there so many mosques? Why does Israel respect the places of worship of those that it wishes to destroy?

    July 21, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  9. Alex

    Food for thought: Why does Israel send even an iota of food, electricity, medical supplies, cement etc into Gaza if they wish to commit genocide against the population in Gaza? Would it not be more efficient just to block everything?

    July 21, 2014 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  10. Amita Snatir

    Those who say it is unjustified have been watching too much CNN.

    July 21, 2014 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  11. Don

    I can assure you that 95% of New York would like to see Israel wipe gaza off the map. How come that wasn't a question?

    July 21, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  12. sly

    "Justified? How many rockets need to blow up civilians before retaliation is "justified"?
    =====
    2000 Hamas rockets have launched.
    75% of Israel in bomb shelters within 60 seconds of the sirens.

    This is Hama's war. They will pay. If this was the US, we'd already have 'shock and awed' them. And y'all 93% who created that war with your approval would be going 'oooh' and 'aahhhhh' like you did back then.

    July 21, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  13. jeff e

    an amazing statistic given the bias of NPR and CNN

    July 21, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  14. Gurgyl

    I bet these idiots of merciless killers are Republican trash. Justified? Nonsense. Civilians are getting killed. Do they have brain? Kids, women are getting killed. USA better not involve in it. Let middle-east take care of this. This way USA, you are doing a redressal of the sin for destabilizing middle-east. They kick these Israel for killing innocent civilians, kids, women.

    July 21, 2014 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "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."'

    Cute. What are the actual numbers? You take two categories and lump them together to compare it to the third...how about lumping it the other way? Or hey, just report the numbers and let us figure out how to understand them without your ridiculous bias interfering, eh? Most of us really don't need you trying to tell us to think it's just fine and dandy that either side over there is killing each other....let alone the one side that's clearly got all the advantages and is killing civilians by the hundreds. That's 'Murika's job...don't they know?

    July 21, 2014 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  16. Larry

    To Bilwilliestyles-Your stupid out of touch comment reminds of what a liberal reporter said when Nixon won
    49 states in 72. "I don't know anyone who voted for him." Perhaps you should get out of your liberal/anti Israel bubble.

    July 21, 2014 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  17. bfantina

    Israel is committing genocide, as it violated countless international laws, not to mention violating basic principles of human decency.

    July 21, 2014 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  18. Larry

    To Alex, more food for thought. The muslims & Christians who live in Israel, have the most freedom than anyone else in the middle east.

    July 21, 2014 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  19. Elaine Fidel

    Why don't they poll the people in Gaza and asked them how they feel that Hamas said no to the cease fire

    July 21, 2014 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  20. Elaine Fidel

    Poll the people in Gaza and ask them how they feel that Hamas said no to the cease fire

    July 21, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  21. O'drama ya Mama

    The Iron Dome is a double edged sword. It protects the citizens from rocket fire but at the same time turns public opinion against Israel. Even though the death toll is skewed to one side it doesnt change the fact that Hamas is still firing unspeakable amounts of rockets into Israel.

    July 21, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  22. truthmuststart

    Israel is 100% justified in protecting it's citizens from terrorist rockets. They protect their citizens with rockets while Hamas uses it's citizens to protect it's rockets in schools, hospitals, and mosques. #TruthMustStart #TruthAboutHamas

    July 21, 2014 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  23. GLF

    The loss of life is terrible,but the plain truth is this is all on hamas.They are using the Palestinians as human shields and if they had not continually fired rockets into Israel they would not have been attacked. What country would not defend itself against constant rocket attack.

    July 21, 2014 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  24. Elaine Fidel

    Don't understand what is wrong with my comment asking to poll the people in Gaza about their feelings that Hamas refused the Egyptian cease fire

    July 21, 2014 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  25. ray

    Israel needs to be wiped off the face of the earth, its funny all the jews now believe in he u.n..................wish hitler was here

    July 21, 2014 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
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