February 2, 2024
Half of adults believe the military response from Israel in the Gaza strip has gone too far, up from 40% in a November AP-NORC poll. More Republicans think Israel’s response has gone too far compared to November, while a similar majority of Democrats hold this belief.
About one-third of U.S. adults classify Israel as an ally that shares U.S. interests and values. After a small uptick in November, opinions have returned to their pre-war level from an August AP-NORC poll before the October 7 attack by Hamas on Israel.
Though many believe Israel’s response to the Hamas attacks has gone too far, 6 in 10 adults still place a lot of the blame on Hamas for the current war. About one-third place a lot of the blame on the Israeli government.
Two-thirds of U.S. adults disapprove of the way Joe Biden is handling the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Democrats have become more divided on the issue since December, with particular factions of the party more likely to disapprove than others. Seventy-two percent of Democrats age 18-44 disapprove, while 58% of older Democrats approve. Fifty-eight percent of Democratic women disapprove, though 53% of Democratic men approve of Biden’s response to the conflict.
Thirty-seven percent of adults believe the U.S. is too supportive of Israel in the conflict. Democrats who disapprove of Biden’s handling of the conflict are more likely to view the United States as too supportive of Israel. Democrats who approve of Biden’s handling of the conflict hold similar views as Republicans.
Democrats who disapprove of Biden’s handling of the conflict are also far more likely than others in the party and Republicans to say the U.S. isn’t supporting the Palestinians enough.
When it comes to specific foreign policy priorities for the United States to undertake, most Republicans and Democrats believe it is extremely or very important to recover hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. About two-thirds of Democrats think it is important to negotiate a permanent ceasefire and provide humanitarian relief to Palestinians. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to prioritize the United States providing aid to Israel’s military to fight Hamas. These attitudes are similar to results from the December AP-NORC poll.
Furthermore, 44% of Democrats favor the establishment of an independent Palestinian state that includes the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and east Jerusalem, and 41% believe it is extremely or very important for the United States to negotiate its establishment. This is up from 31% of Democrats favoring an independent Palestinian state in the August AP-NORC poll conducted before the attack.
About half of adults are extremely or very concerned that the war between Israel and Hamas will lead to a broader conflict in the Middle East, with Republicans and Democrats holding similar views.
Forty-seven percent of adults have heard or read a lot or some about airstrikes from the United States and British militaries against Yemen’s Houthi rebels, though 51% have heard only a little or nothing at all. Four in 10 approve of these airstrikes, a similar belief held among Democrats and Republicans. Among those who have heard a lot or some about the airstrikes, 61% approve.
After the October 7 attacks in Israel by Hamas, half of U.S. adults expressed concern that prejudice against Jews would increase in the United States and 43% said the same for Muslims. This concern has decreased slightly for both groups since November.
The nationwide poll was conducted January 25-29, 2024 using the AmeriSpeak® Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,152 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.0 percentage points.
- Suggested Citation: AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (January 2024). “Half believe Israel’s military response in Gaza has gone too far” https://apnorc.org/projects/half-believe-israels-military-response-in-gaza-has-gone-too-far