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WSJ Poll: Over Half Back Israel; Dems Split Over War

By    |   Monday, 11 December 2023 11:14 AM EST

A majority of Americans say they believe Israel’s offensive against Palestinian militant group Hamas is warranted, while the issue is splitting Democrats, a new poll from The Wall Street Journal has found.

According to the survey, 55% of respondents said they believe Israel is taking appropriate action to defend itself and prevent another incursion by Hamas, compared to 25% who said Israel’s military response is disproportionate to the Oct. 7 attack during which more than 1,200 Israelis were killed.

As the fighting in Gaza enters its third month, 42% of voters said they sympathized more with the Israelis, versus 12% who said the same of the Palestinians.

President Joe Biden scored poorly among those polled for his response to the Middle Eastern conflict, with 37% saying they approved of his handling of the war and 52% saying they disapproved. Biden’s low marks on the Israel-Hamas war are consistent with his overall approval ratings, which the survey found are at the lowest point of his presidency.

Political party affiliation and age factored into voter sentiment toward the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, the poll found.

Nearly a quarter of Democrats expressed more sympathy for the Palestinians, while 17% said they had more sympathy for the Israelis. Nearly 50% of Democrats said they were equally sympathetic to both sides.

Among Republicans, more than two-thirds said they were more sympathetic to the Israelis, compared to 2% who sympathized more with the Palestinians; 17% said they sympathized with both groups equally.

According to the survey, just over a third of independents expressed more sympathy for the Israeli people, versus 11% who said they had more sympathy for the Palestinians. About a third said they were sympathetic to both.

Democrats under the age of 50 said they have more sympathy for the Palestinians, 35% to 13%. Democrats over the age of 50 came down more on the side of the Israelis, 22% to 12%.

“There is a schism between younger Democrats and older Democrats in where their sympathies lie,” Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio told the Journal. “It has the potential to become a modern-day Vietnam for the Democrats.”

Fabrizio conducted the poll along with Democrat pollster Michael Bocian.

Wyn Helming, 24, of Madison, Wis., told the Journal she has participated in protests calling for a cease-fire in the conflict.

“We have a chance to actually do something about it, and it would be so wrong not to,” she said. “The politicians aren’t listening to us, no matter what we say.”

Ray Buch, a 66-year-old retiree from Reading, Pa., told the Journal that Israel is “totally justified” in its campaign to eradicate Hamas.

“Hamas started the whole thing,” he said. “They knew what the repercussions were.”

Buch, who reportedly is a registered independent, also blamed the deaths of civilians in Gaza on the Palestinian militant group.

“They didn’t care about their people,” he said. “I’m sorry, but they’re a casualty of war.”

According to authorities in Hamas-controlled Gaza, 17,000 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict thus far.

Democrat Raleigh Whestle, 67, who lives north of Denver, told the Journal he would like the war to end.

“Israel needs to stop doing what they are right now,” Whestle, who is retired, said. “They can’t be killing as many women and children as they are. You can understand what the response [to Oct. 7] is, but it is way, way too much.”

Despite the dominance of the war between Israel and Hamas in the news cycle over the past two months, the poll found that Americans were mainly concerned with domestic issues, such as the economy and immigration, heading into the presidential election next year.

The poll was conducted Nov. 29 to Dec. 4 and surveyed 1,500 registered voters. No margin of error was given.

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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A majority of Americans say they believe Israel's offensive against Palestinian militant group Hamas is warranted, while the issue is splitting Democrats, a new poll from The Wall Street Journal has found. According to the survey, 55% of respondents said they believe Israel...
poll, israel, hamas, war
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2023-14-11
Monday, 11 December 2023 11:14 AM
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