CNN Poll: Majority of Americans side with Israel in Gaza fighting
July 21st, 2014
05:01 PM ET
7 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.

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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. Dead Center

    Wish I could remember who said this -
    "There cannot be peace until the Palestinians love their children more than they hate Israelis."

    July 21, 2014 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  2. Packard

    Let the pain and suffering of Gaza continue.

    Hunger makes good sauce.

    July 21, 2014 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  3. rita

    What's sad is that no one knows the truth! Palestinians having been living in oppression for years. They have had enough of this life. They have no more to go, their land taken away, their families killed, their homes destroyed because Israel wants to kill all the Palestinians and take over land that is not theirs. USA Media is extremely biased. American's don't have a clue. Most other countries have been protesting in support of Palestine except America. Goes to show the level of ignorance.

    July 21, 2014 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  4. Rogue351

    Hamas is more about their crazy twist on the Muslim religion, power and money. Hamas could care less who dies as long as a few get the power they desire, which has nothing at all to do with god. If these Hamas Muslims want to be left alone then go to the desert practice your own backward ways and leave people that want nothing to do with you alone. If your god is real he will come and make your new land just as holy as the land you are supposedly fighting for, which everyone knows is a crock. Hamas needs to be bankrupted by the rest of the world. It needs to be a punishable crime acted on by the world if other countries sell munitions to terrorists.

    July 21, 2014 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  5. Felicia

    Majority of Americans side with Israel. I'm shocked–shocked, I tell you! What other poll results would we have with the pro-Israel bias in American media?

    July 21, 2014 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  6. abdi

    cnn is owned by zionist baby killers who dont dare to tell the truth and if other people tell the truth they accuse of bieng anti semite as cover its outragious.

    July 21, 2014 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  7. Dan

    Anyone who would dare to condemn Israel in their present actions should be forced to move to Southern Israel and live for a few years under continuous terrorist fire. Israel is 100% justified in attacking Gaza and ending the reign of terror which has gone on way too long.

    July 21, 2014 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  8. S. B. Stein

    I support the Israelis because they try their best to avoid the civilians but have limited options.

    @Snaffew - you can't really compare the Israelis to Nazis because there is no systematic murder of a group. There are Arab citizens of Israel who have the same rights as any other citizens. There are also no rules restricting Arabs or Muslims.

    July 21, 2014 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  9. Flush the US Congress

    The tribe owns America – everyone knows that.

    July 21, 2014 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  10. judy

    Honestly, no other military in the world drops leaflets, calls cellphones before they bomb...the israelis do not have a choice but to destroy the rocket launchers and underground tunnels that are being used to terrorize israeli civilans....Shame on terrorist hamas for encouraging their people to hang around and give up their lives as martyrs while the hamas leadership are hiding underground....they are looking for civilan casualties to bolster world opinion...Disgusting.

    July 21, 2014 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  11. Givemeabreak

    Of course Israel has a right to defend their people. GAZA has been asked by the UN, Egypt, & the Arab league to suspend fire for humanitarian purposes but won't. Israel has tried. Suspended fire to let in food & medicine. Palestinians just keep on firing. My opinion – if Hammas wasn't firing at Jews the left wing in the US wouldn't be so sympathetic to Hammas. I don't hear the US left wing crying about massacre of Christians in mid-east & Africa. Not trendy enough. I'm an old liberal democrat but the hate of Israel among left wingers is non-sensical prejudice. I'm embarrassed to be a Democrat in the US if we're going to side with Hammas & their ilk over Israel.

    July 21, 2014 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  12. Vivelvin

    Americans side with Israel because we have never been threatened by Israel. Furthermore, we don't even see Muslim countries ever trying to stem the tide of terrorism, no matter where it occurs. Yes, of course we know many Muslims do not participate in violence and/or terrorism but their lack of response infers they do not condemn it. I don't care of its Sunnis, or Shiites...some one from one of the Muslim countries has to get bold about condemning terrorism and helping to halt its unreal progress.

    July 21, 2014 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  13. Cuzgheto

    The Palestinians are nothing but terrorist trash. They elected Hamas and now are reaping what they have sown. Israel should get rid of them once and for all.

    July 21, 2014 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  14. lcollins

    When all the U.S. politicians support the jews because ot the jew money, what do you expect.

    July 21, 2014 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  15. Roland

    The Israelis have a very slick PR machine and the media are always willing to take over their narrative.The Palestinians do not have such a slick PR machine that can inform people about their side of the story.But Israel is increasingly losing support despite the lack of Palestinian voices.

    July 21, 2014 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  16. Eric

    I cannot believe the naivety, or just plain hypocrisy, of some the pro Hamas posts on here. If your town was getting randomly attacked by an outside group forcing your family to live in fear of kidnappings, suicide bombings, rock attacks and anything else they can come up with you would be enraged.

    Regardless if one side has more advanced weaponry than the other there is absolutely no excuse for Hamas's actions. They are truly are the definition of a terror organization that doesn't care about its people. If it did, it would call a ceasefire, hand over power to the political establishment on the condition that it mediate an opening of offshore fishing, trade routes and humanitarian aid to the people in Gaza. It would lay down its arms and take a page our of Ghani's playbook.

    Instead it uses terror and fear to remain in power and prolong a never ending war that hurts it own people the most.

    Truly... what is there to gain from fighting with Israel who has made abundantly clear that it will not tolerate aggression to its people? If they simply declared an end to being an armed resistance, turned in their weapons for an opening of trade with other nations, ability to fish more than 2 miles out and transferred all power to peaceful government body the world would overwhelming side with them and Israel (by their own or by international pressure) woudl have to allow for a fully independent state to be born.

    Hamas is a self righteous group only looking out for itself and is the enemy of Gaza and Palestine. .

    July 21, 2014 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  17. jim overly

    the israeli/u.s. war against palestine has gone on for a long time. it is all about land, and, if people looked at maps – how much land the palestinians have lost, since 1946, it proves this point. specifically, targeting of palestinian children, is an obvious terrorist action. blocking humanitarian aid? how many violations of un resolutions, is israel guilty of? close to 100. how is obama able to sleep at night? my friends and i, are not palestinian, neither were any of us included in any poll – only a select few are, but, that's far from an accurate feeling.

    July 21, 2014 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  18. Jimbo

    Fire up the ovens again!

    July 21, 2014 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  19. Sapete

    This American doesn't support Israel! Those who say that Israel's actions are justified by what they "put up with" should ask themselves what they would do to a people that occupies your land at a whim; steals the farm you inherited from your great great grandfather; cuts off your access to water and your children's access to decent roads, schools, and hospitals; shuts down all trade routes through which your people could prosper; and denies you any legal recourse or vote whatsoever. After all Jews have been through, they should have known better than to create a "ghetto" for the Palestinans. Shame on Israel!

    July 21, 2014 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  20. Liz the First

    Neither of these warring sides is in the right. they both misuse their religion. creating the state of Israel was a huge mistake and the whole region has been paying for it ever since. they should wipe out all the borders over there and call the whole region Stupidia. then everyone would be Stupidians. then do away with all the religion, then they'd all be Stupidites. then they'd have nothing to fight about and they could finally start living like human beings!

    July 21, 2014 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  21. Name

    Isreal should destroy Hamas! They are terrorists

    July 21, 2014 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  22. Israel

    Israel isn't committing any genocide against the people of Gaza. The people of Gaza choose to launch their rockets from their homes, with thousands of people around them, and use their children as human shields. THIS is why the casualty and death rate is so much higher in Gaza.

    July 21, 2014 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  23. ThisnThat

    Although CNN hates the results of the poll, they are encouraged that some of the poll numbers seem to be slipping. Some more biased reporting by CNN might see some additional slippage, which is keeping their reporters' hopes alive.

    July 21, 2014 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  24. Bob

    Sniffit, why did you decided to post on the ACA here? It's got NOTHING to do with Gaza.

    July 21, 2014 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  25. Abe

    This poll is a tribute :
    2) AIPAC, the Israeli LOBBY helps control CONGRESS
    3) Jewish financiers helps control the media and thus the info filtering to the Americans !!


    July 21, 2014 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
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