57 Percent of Americans Believe Israeli Attacks in Gaza Are Justified — But Democratic Support Is Shockingly Low

Activists of hardline Shiite group Palestine Foundation of Pakistan burn an effigy of US President Barack Obama at an anti-US and Israel protest in Karachi on November 18, 2012. Pakistan condemned Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip, calling on the international community to stop the ‘Israeli aggression’. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

The ongoing Middle Eastern debacle between Israel and Hamas forges on. And while the chaos rages, a CNN poll published on Monday showcases where the American public stands. The majority of citizens — 57 percent — claim that Israel’s attacks on Gaza are justified. However, there’s one subgroup that sets itself apart from the rest in embracing the notion that the actions are not warranted: Democrats.

The CNN/ORC International poll also found that only one in four Americans believe that the attacks are unjustified. But the most fascinating data was found beneath the surface when analyzing subgroups’ perspectives. CNN Polling Director Keating Holland broke down the most noteworthy segment data.

Photo Credit: CNN

“Although most Americans think the Israeli actions are justified, there are key segments of the public who don’t necessarily feel that way,” Holland explained. “Only four in ten Democrats think the Israeli actions in Gaza are justified, compared to 74% of Republicans and 59% of independents.”

These aren’t the only differences, though. Israel enjoys higher support among American men (13 percentage points higher) than women. Additionally, older Americans when compared to younger ones are also more supportive (by 15 percentage points, in fact).

Israeli soldier patrolling next to the Israeli-Palestinian border as some 16,000 reserve troops are drafted in, on November 16, 2012 in Israel. Conflict between the Israeli military and Palestine militants has intensified over the last few days, with Israel striking some 130 targets overnight. Credit: Getty Images

As stated, nearly six-in-10 sympathize with the Israelis, with only 13 percent saying that they side with the Palestinians. An additional 11 percent of Americans fall on neither side of the conflict (with 13 percent claiming that they have “no opinion”).

According to Holland, the low figure for Palestinian support is nothing new, as the proportion has never extended beyond 18 percent since the question was first asked in 1988.

Results for this poll were collected via telephone from 1,023 adults between November 16 and 18. The sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.