The national survey indicates that 57% of the American public says Israel is justified in taking military action in Gaza against Hamas, with one in four saying the attacks are unjustified.
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"Although most Americans think the Israeli actions are justified, there are key segments of the public who don't necessarily feel that way," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "Only four in 10 Democrats think the Israeli actions in Gaza are justified, compared to 74% of Republicans and 59% of independents. Support for Israel's military action is 13 points higher among men than among women, and 15 points higher among older Americans than among younger Americans."
According to the survey, nearly six in 10 say their sympathies are with the Israelis, with 13% saying they side more with the Palestinians and 11% saying their sympathies are with neither side in the conflict.
"That's nothing new," Holland added. "The number of Americans who sympathize more with the Palestinians has never been higher than 18% since the question was first asked in 1988. Sympathies for Israel have sometimes dipped below 50%, but have been over that mark for the past eight years."
It should be noted that the findings of the CNN survey coincide with polls taken during calmer periods. The fact that the number of Americans who support Israel (usually around 60%) did not dip during the Gaza operation may encourage those in charge of Israel's public relations efforts.
The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from November 16-18, with 1,023 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.