A new Reuters/Ipsos poll reveals that 68% of Americans believe Israel “should call a ceasefire and try to negotiate” with Hamas, indicating widespread opposition to continued military operations in Gaza. This viewpoint was shared by approximately three-quarters of Democrats and half of Republicans, demonstrating broad public support for de-escalation.
When asked what role the United States should play in the conflict, just 32% of respondents believed that “the U.S. should support Israel.” This figure represents a substantial drop from the 41% who expressed support for Israel in a previous Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted just a month earlier in mid-October.
Another noteworthy shift in sentiment is the growing number of Americans who favor neutrality in the conflict. The poll shows that 39% of respondents now believe that “the U.S. should be a neutral mediator.” This marks a significant increase from the 27% who held this view in the earlier poll, signaling a clear trend toward a more balanced approach.
What’s more, the poll – which asked 1,006 US adults, also sheds light on how involved the United States should be – with just 4% of respondents advocating for U.S. support for Palestinians, and 15% who say the U.S. should not be involved in the conflict at all. These figures have remained relatively consistent with the earlier poll’s findings.
Roots of the Conflict
The backdrop to this changing dynamic follows weeks of intense Israeli military operations against Hamas in Gaza in response to an October 7 attack by Hamas militants in southern Israel. The resulting violence has led to significant casualties on both sides and drawn international attention to the crisis.
The poll’s findings run counter to President Joe Biden’s stance on the issue (granted, ‘stance’ is generous, given that Biden doesn’t know where he is half the time). The president has refrained from endorsing calls by Arab leaders, including Palestinians, to pressure Israel into a ceasefire. Instead, his administration has emphasized the importance of minimizing civilian casualties.
Meanwhile, just 31% of respondents support the idea of sending weapons to Israel, while 43% oppose it. Support for sending weapons was particularly strong among Republicans, while roughly half of Democrats were against it.
Comparing with Ukraine
Comparing these sentiments to the situation in Ukraine, the poll revealed that 41% of respondents supported sending weapons to Ukraine in its ongoing conflict with Russia, while 32% opposed the idea. Notably, Democrats exhibited stronger support for sending weapons to Ukraine compared to Israel.
As Reuters further notes, the changing public opinion also reflects an ongoing debate within Congress. While most moderate Democrats have historically supported military assistance to Israel, some progressive members of the party are now raising questions about the need for increased scrutiny and conditional aid.
Thu, 11/16/2023 – 21:20