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Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Strategic Alliances for a Secure, Connected, and Prosperous Region

New U.S. Poll Raises Questions about Americans’ Support for Israel’s War against Hamas

Filed under: Operation Swords of Iron

New U.S. Poll Raises Questions about Americans’ Support for Israel’s War against Hamas
  • Throughout the Israel-Hamas war, the U.S. administration has provided backing and support for Israeli interests against the terror group.
  • However, a poll of American public opinion shows a different picture. The new survey, conducted by Dr. Irwin J. Mansdorf of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), finds that nearly a third of the American public holds anti-Israeli views in light of the war in Gaza.

A new survey conducted in the United States brings up alarming findings regarding American support for the war against Hamas in Gaza, to a point where some of Israel’s supporters have doubts.

The survey, conducted on December 13, 2023, with 293 American citizens aged 18-65, examined public opinion regarding the effectiveness of pro-Palestinian demonstrations versus pro-Israeli ones, the credibility of the reports about Israelis held hostage by Hamas, and the possibility of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. “Overall sympathy for Israel among Americans is still at high levels,” explains Dr. Mansdorf. “However, in the current survey, we saw that even some supporters of Israel have started questioning important issues. Consistent with previous and other polls, the hard core of approximately 25-33% of anti-Israel sentiment continues to be reflected in this survey.” He adds: “The main problem is with the Israeli attacks in Gaza, with over 34% believing that the Hamas reports about civilian casualties and damage are reliable, and they hold Israel responsible.”

According to the findings, more than 24% of the participants in the survey believe that the reports of sexual assaults against Israeli women by Hamas are exaggerated and do not conform to reality, while 35% were unsure. In addition, more than 21% of the participants agreed that the Israelis “use” the Holocaust to gain global sympathy, compared to 26% who chose not to express an opinion. Dr. Mansdorf explains this is a critical finding due to many undecideds, “don’t know,” or neutral responses on many specific issues.

Referring to the rocket attacks by Hamas towards Israeli cities, 22% claimed that Hamas was mainly targeting military targets and not civilian ones.

When asked about the “day after” the war, about 28% were under the impression that Israel is more interested in peace than the Palestinians, while more than 34% stated that neither party is interested in peace. Dr. Mansdorf concludes: “These new findings show the continued negative impact on public opinion. Although many of the respondents hesitated or chose not to express an opinion on certain issues, it is important to note that these positions also exist among the U.S. public, which does not support Hamas and usually expresses pro-Israeli views.”

Issues examined:

  1. There seems to be no difference in feeling towards the effectiveness of pro-Palestinian versus pro-Israel demonstrations.
  2. Over 21% agreed that Jews exaggerate the Holocaust to gain world sympathy. (About 26% did not disagree, expressing no opinion.)
  3. Over 22% agreed that Hamas targets mostly military targets in their missile attacks against Israel. (About 38.5% neutral, neither agree nor disagree.)
  4. Over 24% felt that reports of sexual attacks against Israeli women by Hamas were exaggerated. (About 35% did not know or were unsure.)
  5. Close to 24% agreed that reports of kidnapped Israelis being held hostage by Hamas are not entirely true. (Close to 35% neutral, neither agree nor disagree.)
  6. Over 34% felt that reports of Israel’s responsibility for civilian deaths in Gaza are not exaggerated. (About 33% did not know or were unsure)
  7. While more felt Israel was more interested in peace than “the Palestinians” (28%-18%), over 34% felt that neither party was interested in peace.

View the full survey results here.