American Views on the Conflict in Gaza

Gaza Strip

Takeaways from the Pew Research survey on the latest Israel/Hamas conflict.

 

 

No matter what your knowledge of the Middle East is, you probably have strong opinions when it comes to the current Israel/Hamas conflict. But do they actually align with basic American sentiments? With so many people getting news updates first through Twitter and Facebook, social media has made our news consumption so specialized that selective exposure can happen without us knowing it.

 

Luckily the Pew Research Center recently conducted a survey asking the general public on their thoughts on the whole conflict. You can read the full report here. Below are three interesting takeaways from the report.  

 

 

All Your Fault

Many in the American public feel it’s all Hamas’ fault! But not AS many as you might think.

Of those surveyed, around 40% believe that Hamas is currently responsible for the violence in Gaza, while only half (19%) think Israel is responsible. While at first glance it may look like a very one-sided issue among the general public, almost half (42%) answered “Don’t Know” or “Both” with each receiving 28% and 14% respectively. This conflict is a complicated issue and according to this survey, Americans are conflicted by it as well. Then again…

 

I Love Israel pin

Conservatives are very clear on which side they support. (Hint: It’s not Hamas.)

Among conservatives, 51% believe that Israel’s response to the conflict with Hamas was “About Right”. That is the biggest “About Right” group when compared to liberals (33%), Democrats (31%), and even Republicans (46%). When asked who was responsible for the current violence, conservatives said over whelming (70%) that Hamas was to be blamed. This really isn’t that big of a surprise. In the past, Israel has had strong allies within the Republican Party. You don’t have to go much further than hearing the reaction former Congressman Allen West received at the Western Conservative Summit after he expressed his views on the current Israel/Hamas conflict.

 

 

peace protest

The older you get, the more you support the Israeli response.

In the report, the most divided group came when young adults gave their thoughts on Israel’s response to sending troops into Gaza. There was an almost even split between those who said “Gone too Far” (29%) and “About Right” (31%) in the 18-29 age group. Yet as you go up in age, the difference between the two responses start to widen with the breakup being 22% for “Gone too Far” and 39% for “About Right” in the 50-46 and 65+ age groups. The survey makes it clear. The older you get, the more you approve of Israel’s military action in Gaza. This is surprising because both groups had witnessed the generational effects of wars in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Weird…

 

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