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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Half of Americans think Israel going ‘too far’ in Gaza – poll

Less than a third (31%) of respondents said West Jerusalem’s military actions had “been about right,” while 15% said it had not gone far enough.

Half of Americans think Israel’s military response to the October 7 Hamas raid has “gone too far,” according to an AP-NORC poll published on Friday. The figure represents a ten-point increase since the pollster asked the same question in November.

Less than a third (31%) of respondents said West Jerusalem’s military actions had “been about right,” while 15% said it had not gone far enough. Both figures represent a significant decrease from November, when 38% of those polled approved of the response, and 18% said it should go further.

Read more: UN Chief Concerned Over Expansion of Israeli Offensive

Democrats were almost twice as likely as Republicans to say Israel had gone too far in its bombardment of Gaza – 62%, compared to 33%.

However, more Democrats also said the campaign had not gone far enough compared to November’s polling (9% vs 7%). Over a third (37%) of respondents said the US was too supportive of Israel. However, the majority (61%) of those who answered the survey said Hamas held “a lot” of responsibility for the war compared to just 35% who said the same about the Israeli government. A third also thought the Iranian government was significantly responsible, but just one in ten thought Washington had played a major role.

Two-thirds (67%) disapproved of President Joe Biden’s handling of the conflict, with a growing portion of Democrats speaking out against their leader (53% compared to just 39% in December).

Read more: The Relationship Between Israel and UNRWA

Despite Washington’s unqualified support for Israel’s military actions in Gaza, only a little over a third (35%) of those surveyed described the nation as “an ally that shares US interests and values.” A plurality (44%) instead viewed it as “a partner that the US should cooperate with, but doesn’t share its interests and values,” while another 9% called it “a rival that the US should compete with, but that it’s not in conflict with.” Just 7% described Israel as an adversary.

Israel has killed over 27,000 Palestinians in Gaza since the war began nearly four months ago, according to the enclave’s Health Ministry, leading South Africa to accuse it of genocide in a case filed with the International Court of Justice in December. The court has since ordered West Jerusalem to prevent genocide in the territory and preserve evidence of any crimes classifiable as such.

Israel was also ordered to alleviate the humanitarian situation for Palestinians, most of whom are considered in danger of starvation or malnutrition. Over 85% of Gaza residents have been displaced by Israeli bombardment since October.

Instead of allowing more aid into the besieged territory, Israel accused the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency, UNRWA, of aiding and abetting Hamas. This led the US and over a dozen other countries to pull funding from the already-overstretched organization.