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. eyad qadan

    it seems that the american media is taking sides,the majority of the major news networks anyway,otherwise the american people as logical and fairmined peace lovers,and peace and justice are what america is built on and always fought for,would have abviously and clearly saw and read facts about the zionist barbarism and the indiscriminative brutal salaughtering of innocent helpless civilians, president bill clinton ordered an intense widebroad airstrikes against the bosnian armed forces to end the ethnic killings in the region and divided that country into two autonomous regions.
    what is very amazing and outstandingly awesome that the people who were getting killed were muslims.just like gazza now.

    July 22, 2014 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  2. canadian

    if israel wanted to kill palestinian civilians, the numbers would be much higher. they have the second most advanced military in the world. any fucking idiot calling this a genocide- use your brain.
    if anything, israel should go in with 20X the force, firing indiscriminately at potential – YES POTENTIAL- threats. it is up to HAMAS, the local "government" to protect their civilians.

    July 22, 2014 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  3. Dick

    This blind unjustified support to Israel did bring 9/11 to our shore and we suffered There will be many 9/11 if we as a nation are not fair and just.. Over 100 children killed by Israel and we still support Israel??

    US is run by Zoinist.. Financial Markets, Congress, Political Lobby, Corp America,& Media ..Why we are fighting Israel battles like we did in Iraq when they were not responsible for 9/11 ..

    These Zionist will bring down US and security will be big issue for us ... Wake up guys before it is late and we face another 9/11 ..

    July 22, 2014 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  4. gee

    Netn who caters to the ultra orthodox who hate more than anyone.

    July 22, 2014 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
  5. sam

    THis poll is not a proper representation of the truth, Americans would side with the Palestinians if the propaganda and the scare tactics of pro-Israel groups would not pressure people to either say they are right or suffer the consequences by being called antisemetic or supporting terrorist. The real terrorist are the Israelies, anyone with any direct knowledge of the REAL situation of institutionalized terrorism and apartheid rule against the Palestinians would see this fact. There are children and young men in the occupied west bank that are imprisoned , tortured, humiliated ,beaten everyday and noone can say this is a fact or the pro-Israel lobby will destroy them . Americans should read about both sides and they will see who the real terrorists are and who the victims are.

    July 22, 2014 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  6. jcinter

    Israel was inserted into the Palestanian land by supports from the US, especially the Jewish community. CNN's poll probably leaned heavily on those areas where Jews are aboundent. Hamas and PLA are not the same as those Muslim extremists who did the 911 attack. Hamas and PLA are the freedom fighters against the insertion of Isarael onto their homeland. As long as US and UK support Isarael with military aids, this war will never ends. Civilians are the true victims in the hands of the politicians in the US and UK.
    It should be noted that Isarael has more than 300 nuclear warheads, with the permission from US. While we prohibit other middle east countries to build nuclear power plants. Are we encouraging Isarael to rule the middle east with its nuclear warheads and military might?

    This is the bitter fruit from the heavy Jewish political influinces on US and UK politicians.

    July 22, 2014 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  7. Keeping It Real

    How can the United States chastise Russia for what they're doing in the Ukraine and turn a blind eye to what Israel is doing in Gaza? Israel is committing crimes, and most of the world holds Israel in a negative light almost as badly as North Korea, Pakistan, or Iran.

    Israel needs to stop this genocide... if the US weren't on Israel's side, their nation would have been blown to pieces decades ago.

    July 22, 2014 04:09 am at 4:09 am |
  8. MmmmTim

    I think a lot of support is because the Israelis are attacking Muslims rather than being support for Jews. Condemnation of Muslims terrorists is very strong and ncreasing, and even though the vast majority of Muslims are truly peace loving and innocent, a huge number of extremists are the ones causing the trouble in the world today. It is a natural extension to be supportive of seeing Muslins getting their own back, almost overwhelming ones sympathy for innocent children being hurt.

    July 22, 2014 04:10 am at 4:10 am |
  9. Sammy

    Who conducted this Survey? Israel?

    July 22, 2014 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  10. John

    You should take religion into account to get a more accurate picture because i can use your same guidelines and get massively different statistics depending on whom i ask: for example most Jewish people are white so because of your methodology i could ask mostly Jewish people for the white category and the results would probably be skewed, just like if i asked mostly catholic people the results would be skewed also its just not very accurate is all im saying redo the poll and use religion to since the country is mostly christian you should ask mostly Christians with the other religions given a proportional say given whatever percent of the country they make up

    July 22, 2014 04:22 am at 4:22 am |
  11. Jay

    @Alex: 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 |

    The reason there are so many mosques in Israel is because they stole the land from the Palestinians. I would challenge you to find a single mosque built in Israel post occupation.

    July 22, 2014 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  12. john

    The Hamas is a terror organization that attacking citizens in Israel and gaza!!

    July 22, 2014 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
  13. ComeOn2013

    Of course Americans are siding with Israel! Because we are against terrorism!

    July 22, 2014 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  14. reza

    Snaffew, you are genius. You hit the nail on the head. This land was a brokered deal. Check the map out from 1947 to date and see the drastic changes. The land that Israel has been grabbing. And who was CNN polling. One thousand phone calls. All they have to read is the above reviews and see who do Americans support. Watch CNN all they report is what happened to the IDF forces that have been KIA. They have murdered over 600 palestinians the IDF forces, CNN does not show that. Tell Wolf Blitzer to show you the other side. Watch Sky news they don't seem biased. What would you do if your neighbour kept stealing your land. Do you blame the palestinians.

    July 22, 2014 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  15. Anonymous

    shame on you . shame on you . shame on you.

    July 22, 2014 05:42 am at 5:42 am |
  16. Mohammad akhtar

    Ofcourse American side with Israel. But if you tell American people real story what Israel been doing for last few deades your pole results will change.

    July 22, 2014 05:50 am at 5:50 am |
  17. cal

    the majority of Americans thought we should invade Iran not too long ago

    July 22, 2014 05:58 am at 5:58 am |
  18. Abdul

    Everybody knows that majority of white people don't like Islam out of prejudice, right or wrong is no more logical for them.

    July 22, 2014 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  19. Carlos Garcia

    Fake numbers created by the media as propaganda. Where's the integrity in journalism nowadays?

    July 22, 2014 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  20. Danial, a jew from Iran

    For a long time I was wondering that the story narrated to us from holocaust might be exaggerated. Now looking into the genocide taking place in Gaza I am ashamed to be a Jew. Who is going to stop this crazy Benjamin Netanyahu, the New Hitler?!

    July 22, 2014 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  21. Katie

    I don't believe that there's any validity in regard to the poll. I find it extremely hard to believe that more than 50% of Americans are so barbaric and depraved that they would actually support the massacre of more than 500 UNARMED men, women & children. If this is literally true this nations moral compass is in decay. I believe this is just a propaganda campaign to prevent Netanyahu, his generals, and members of US government from being charged with crimes against humanity and disregarding the Geneva Convention.

    July 22, 2014 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  22. Ace

    Shame on ALLof you going against what Israel is doing. If you were being bombarded with 100 bombs a day you wouldn't just sit there behind your computer and curse the people who actually fight back and won't stand it. The Palestinian people are a disgrace to the Arab world and most Arabs if you ask them in an environment where they're not pressured to answer with a gun in their face will agree. They are the lowest on the Arab chain for a reason. I only say this because I'm sick of people not putting themselves in Israel's shoes. What else can the IDF do? No other Army in the HISTORY OF MAN has called and sent leaflets about where they're about to bomb. And finally, how cowardly can you be as a civilization to hide rockets and bombs in schools and hospitals?? Shame on CNN and all the other media outlets for not reporting on that!

    July 22, 2014 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  23. bill

    Israel has to do what it has to do. They had 1000 Missiles shot into their country in one day. why would they not?

    July 22, 2014 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  24. just asking

    as usual, the lefties and liberals in here are out of step with the majority of americans.

    July 22, 2014 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  25. Katie

    I find it hard to believe this poll has any validity. I simply refuse to believe that more than 50% of Americans approve of the massacre of more than 500 UNARMED men, women, and children.
    This is merely a propaganda campaign to mislead Americans to believe Israel is doing nothing wrong. The unfortunate reality is that Netanyahu, his generals, and many members of our own US government are complicit in Crimes Against Humanity and for disregarding the Geneva Convention. Americas culpability lies both in our financing of this continuing massacre to the tune of 3.15 billion dollars annually and hundreds of millions in arms to implement the carnage.

    July 22, 2014 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
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