CNN Poll: Majority of Americans side with Israel in Gaza fighting
July 21st, 2014
05:01 PM ET
5 years 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. Namejohn

    No it is no different from what the Germans did in the Ghetto's of Warsaw Poland . The leader ship of isreal needs to be held to the same standards as in Nurrenburg , phospouros bombs ,pleshiets are war crimes ,call for the destruction of every man , woman and child . The propaganda that you promote is one sided and biased . And since most americans are to busy , watching idol , dancing with the stars
    To have read any ancient history books they do not know the truth .

    July 21, 2014 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  2. Michael Fox

    The Palestinian propaganda machine is working overtime. Couldn't wait to get the first pictures of of a wailing mother over the body of a dead child. Remember folks, Hamas started this firing rockets into Israel targeting civilians. This did not start with the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenage boys by Hamas. The cease fire of 2012 was actually short lived before Hamas started firing rocket again into Israel. Granted, it wasn't on the scale we see today, none the less, they broke the Egyptian brokered cease fire. Don't hear much about that in the media do we. Interesting how the global anti-Semites come up out of the sewer like cockroaches when they have a good excuse (Like they really care about the Palestinians) to target Jews.
    A little perspective. At least 3,200 Iraqi civilians were killed in the first month of war with the US, No one was firing rockets from Iraq into American cities. Where was the UN...Where was the global condemnation and hand wringing for the poor Iraqi civilians. Where were the pictures of the dead Iraqi babies??? Now, if it were the Jews that were committing this collateral damage ....
    So, shut up and man up. Own your anti-Semitism and at least be honest.

    July 21, 2014 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  3. loloy

    make a fresh start. terrorist stop killing innocent civilians, we'll see then what comes next.

    July 21, 2014 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  4. freedom

    That's right – the president is on the wrong side of this battle. Funding the Muslim Brotherhood, drug cartels, inaction to show support of Israel, etc. If Obama had 1 ounce of the guts and integrity Netanyahu has, we'd be much better off. Tragically – not even close.

    July 21, 2014 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    CNN what an independent source of information. Haaretz is less biased than CNN.

    July 21, 2014 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  6. concerned citizen

    BS! Israel is doing the same thing that Hitler did to their people! They are now just repeating same tactics ! Stop support Israel until they get rid of right wing government!

    July 21, 2014 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  7. Klaatu1955

    Seriously? Israel is bombing hospitals. .saying they are storing weapons? Do they have any proof of that? Iron dome? More like thick headed terrorists....it's sad all the way around. I have no answers. ..

    July 21, 2014 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  8. Cconnelly

    CNN poll, what a reliable source. I trust Haaretz on this issue, but not CNN.

    July 21, 2014 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  9. DAR

    It is interesting that there hasn't been even one percent of the comments over the last 3 years where over 100,000 Syrians have been slaughtered...
    Here is the truth, face it: The world doesnt care that Arabs/Muslims/Palestinians are killed.... They care that Israelis/Jews are doing it.
    The truth no longer matters nor justice and fact.
    Chew on that CNN readers. Thank God we live here where most Americans still have a sense of justice and protecting your home from invasion.

    July 21, 2014 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  10. Jason

    The heart of the problem is Israeli occupation and illegal settlements and the expansion of those settlements in direct violation of international law. Expanding settlements and trying to negotiate over a two-state solution is like two dudes trying to figure out how to split a pizza while one of them eats it.

    July 21, 2014 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  11. catherne martinez

    Everyone I know supports Israel. So I guess it's safe to say that almost all of CNN's followers lean faaaar to the left

    July 21, 2014 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  12. Nanson Hwa

    The survey is flawed and inaccurate. Initiate the survey in San Francisco and Chicago, not New York or Washington DC

    July 21, 2014 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  13. Emilio Belial

    Hey there. I'm really ignorant on this subject. And I have friends on both sides on facebook. I just want to go by morals logically. Do you mind emailing me sometime and set up a time, if you're willing that is, to break this down to a simple peon. I really felt and agreed with what you said. I want to be able to defend myseld in discussion when approached with this subject without breaking away from my moral fiber.

    July 21, 2014 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  14. Bashir Abbasi

    unjustified act on the part of Israel. Israel fight with full capability of being an state against innocent civilians. generally war defines somehow with same capabilities of states. It looks as if the president Obama declares war against the New York metropolitan, does war match both? Never, Israel being part of the problem and tries to save its borders, rather than to solve the real issue, there must be hectic efforts to resolve this unjustified war between unequal parties. There is no balance of power between them, Israel should fight war with Iran, Pakistan etc, then it would be justified in terms of power.

    July 21, 2014 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  15. Ryan

    This poll demonstrates the ignorance of Americans. Most people in the United States are focused on sports and entertainment, and have no concept of what is happening outside their borders. I suspect most could not find Israel on a map, let alone the occupied territories. The fact is that Israel is committing a holocaust aimed at innocent Palestinians.

    July 21, 2014 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  16. Roscoe Chait

    Good work Israel. If the Hamas terrorists won't stop firing rockets, and kidnapping and murdering your people, wipe them off the face of the earth. By making Palestinians act as human shields, Hamas has already proven they are the scum of the earth.

    July 21, 2014 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  17. alex

    Stop saying the word "war". A war is a battle between 2 armies with approximately the same chances of winning. What do the Palestinians have ? Seriously for fuck sake ! This is a motherfucking GENOCIDE ! Another holocaust !!!!

    July 21, 2014 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  18. TheDuck

    Good for Israel. I have no doubt that if the media wasnt pandering to a terrorist organization and propagating this myth of a genocide, when only 500 people have been killed after multiple warnings to evacuate, then that percentage would be much higher. The only genocide taking place is the one that Hamas intends to deliver to Israel.

    July 21, 2014 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  19. katie

    WOW! This means that 34% of the population are waking up, which is more than expected. Our tax money is being spent to run the war machine of an apartheid system. We badly need that money here at home. What we see on TV, clearly indicates when it comes to moral issues, there is no difference between the two, both violent and uncivilized. Israeli dual citizens in congress are free to leave anytime.

    July 21, 2014 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  20. Alpano

    Israel are coward totally coward, if they are balls and brave why they dont try to make war with iran alone who'll match thier sophisticated weaponry and not the palestine who's only arms are pibbles and stone?...

    July 21, 2014 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  21. Common Sense

    Don't know who CNN polled, but I don't buy it. The average American has always been for the underdog and it's not Israel on this

    July 21, 2014 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  22. J Berry

    Don't shoot dumb surface-to-surface missiles at Israeli kids and you will not get bombed or shot in Gaza. It is pretty simpl1!

    July 21, 2014 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  23. vikingwoman

    No war is just, warranted or has a good guy-bad guy scenario! Ever! Both of these sovereign states have a right to occupy land & provide life, education & work for their citizens & neither has the right to impede the other! I think it's time for the world community to stop coddling Israel & tell Palestine they need to fix their leadership! Otherwise this will continue for another 50 yrs, into infinity! By the way, @Sniffit, love your post & usually agree w/you, except in this–calling the opposition teatrolls & mouthbreathers! Unfortunately only a small percent fit this description! Fox News is doing a job on otherwise intelligent non political peeps, left leaners or independents! I've watched it happen w/friends & family! Not every1 is politically astute & people are swayed by this network's catering to the basic common denominator! I'm trying to give my peeps the facts, not call names & that's hard in this anti-Obama atmosphere! Just a suggestion–for those who need to be called out–please carry on! Peace!!

    July 21, 2014 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  24. Donna F

    GCHQ alters online polls according to recent news reports. Americans support bombing hospitals? That is not even believable

    July 21, 2014 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  25. Rogue351

    That is because NO ONE likes being told what god they should pray to. If the Muslims want people to side with them, they need to step up and boot these terrorists out of their countries. The Muslims need to stop killing innocent people, regardless of what or who they pray to. and start treating woman like people instead of slaves. This includes Saudi. The Muslims need to STOP the violence in their own countries. The world on the other hand needs to freeze all of the oil money that was paid to the horrible rich Muslims that are finically backing this type of behavior. Any prince, or royal family member that has money and is involved with terrorism needs to automatically be placed in the poor house and the money used directly to help with the death and destruction their crazy twist on religion has caused.

    July 21, 2014 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
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