A recent Harvard CAPS-Harris poll involving over 2,300 registered US voters has revealed a significant backing for Israel over Hamas in the ongoing conflict, which was sparked by Hamas’s attack on October 7. This support underscores the shared values and strong bonds between the United States and Israel.
The poll results show that a vast majority, 83 percent, recognize the October 7 attack, which resulted in approximately 1,200 deaths and 253 hostages, as a terror attack. This acknowledgment is consistent across various age groups, highlighting the widespread understanding of Hamas’s actions as terrorism.
Additionally, the survey reveals that 74% of respondents view Hamas’s attack as genocidal and 75% believe the assault cannot be justified by Palestinian grievances. Interestingly, support for Israel tends to increase with age, with younger Americans being less favorable. Despite this, a majority across all age groups align more with Israel than with Hamas.
The American public’s perception of Israel’s actions in Gaza is largely positive, with 69% believing Israel is trying to avoid civilian casualties and 66% seeing Israel as defending itself. These views contrast with a smaller proportion, primarily among younger respondents, who believe Israel is committing genocide in Gaza – a claim Israel vehemently denies.
The poll also highlights a significant consensus on Hamas’s intentions, with 74% acknowledging the group’s genocidal aspirations against Jews in Israel. This understanding is crucial as it reflects awareness of the serious threats Israel faces.
Importantly, 67% of the respondents agree with Israel’s key aims in the war: a ceasefire should only occur if the hostages are released and Hamas is removed from power in Gaza. This stance aligns with Israel’s efforts to ensure its security and protect its citizens from ongoing terrorist threats.
Regarding perceptions of Israel and Hamas, more respondents view Israel favorably compared to Hamas, which receives overwhelmingly negative views. The poll also indicates skepticism about the Palestinian Authority’s ability to govern Gaza post-war, with many preferring a new entity established through negotiations with Arab states.
President Joe Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict receives mixed reviews, with 39% approving of his approach. This reflects the complexities of foreign policy and international relations in dealing with such conflicts.
In conclusion, this poll not only demonstrates the American public’s support for Israel but also highlights the shared values and mutual understanding between the two nations. The United States and Israel stand together in the pursuit of peace, security, and democracy, values that are deeply ingrained in both societies. As Israel continues to navigate this conflict, the support from its American allies remains a vital pillar of strength and solidarity.