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

Poll: Up to 35% of Younger Americans Believe Hamas’ Claims

Filed under: Hamas, Operation Swords of Iron

Poll: Up to 35% of Younger Americans Believe Hamas’ Claims

After more than 100 days of fighting since the October 7 massacre, Hamas issued an official document, in Arabic and English, to appeal to international public opinion and try to correct its negative image. A new survey, conducted by Dr. Irwin J. Mansdorf of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, sought to examine whether the American public believes the organization’s false claims. The poll shows that up to 35% of people under the age of 45 support Hamas’ claims made in the document. According to the findings, this support is also evident among those who define themselves as supporters of Israel’s war in Gaza (about 20%).

The new survey, conducted among 530 American citizens aged 18-65, was based on quotes from the Hamas document to test the level of support among the U.S. public for the organization’s claims. While previous polls in the U.S. showed support for Israel, the new findings indicate that a significant part of the population accepts pro-Palestinian claims that deny or minimize Hamas’ deliberate harm to civilians, the rape of women, and the kidnapping of Israeli hostages. “In the current survey, we told the respondents that the allegations were directly attributed to Hamas, and they even received a link to the terrorist organization’s full document in English,” explains Dr. Mansdorf, a political psychologist. He adds: “The purpose of the study was to check whether the knowledge that the allegations were directly attributed to Hamas, which is officially considered as a terrorist organization by both the U.S. and the European Union, will influence and possibly change the opinions of citizens who tend to believe pro-Palestinian claims.”

The findings reveal broad support among the American public for the false claims of Hamas, although there is a gap in the level of identification with them in relation to the respondents’ age: For the participants under the age of 45, support for the false claims ranges from 27-35%, while among the respondents over the age of 45, support ranges from 15-25%. Furthermore, among the younger Americans, 25% agreed with the Hamas statement that the Israeli citizens kidnapped in Gaza are treated ‘in a positive and kind manner’ (compared to only 16% of the older participants). Regarding Hamas’ claims that no intentional acts of rape were committed against Israeli women, 27% of Americans under the age of 45 agreed, as compared to 17% of the older respondents. Moreover, even among those who define themselves as supporters of Israel, about 20% believed in the Hamas narrative.

According to Dr. Mansdorf, the findings of the study indicate, among other things, a generation gap in relation to support for Hamas, when there is higher support for Hamas and its claims among U.S. citizens under the age of 45. “With the clear knowledge that the claims express the official policy of a terrorist organization, we still see support for Hamas in the U.S.,” he concludes. “The current study not only confirms previous findings, it also proves that the supporters of Israel have already begun to doubt our intentions in general and are ready to accept the false claims. This is further evidence of the challenges facing Israel in the psychological warfare of the Palestinian groups.” According to Dr. Mansdorf, additional studies are needed in order to better understand this support for false claims among supporters of Israel as well as the general public.