A majority of Americans think Israel is justified in taking military action against Hamas, according to a new CNN/ORC poll released Monday. But there although a majority of respondents supported Israel, sharp divides exist between political parties and ideologies. The poll found that Democrats were three times more likely than Republicans to think that Israel is “not justified” in using military force against Hamas in the Gaza strip. Republicans split 74-12 in favour of Israel, while Democrats give a much more modest support of 41-36.
A similar divide is seen between different ideologies. Conservatives, for example, say that by a 72-15 margin, Israel is justified in its military actions. Self-identified liberals, on the other hand, support Israel’s actions by a 6-point, 39-33 margin.
The poll also shows that overall, there is broad support for Israel’s strikes against Hamas. Overall, 59 per cent of respondents said they sided more with Israel, compared with just 13 per cent for Palestinians. But that party/ideological divide also shows up in sympathy for Israel.
The conflict began last week, when Hamas fired rockets into Israel. Israel responded with an aerial assault. According to reports, nearly 100 people have been killed in Gaza and three in Israel.
President Barack Obama has indicated support for Israel’s military actions, but is also pushing to avert a ground offensive.
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