Most Americans support Israel, new poll finds

The majority of Americans say they support Israel, according to a new survey from Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll shared with The Hill on Monday. 

Eighty percent of voters said they supported Israel amid its ongoing war with Hamas, a Palestinian militant group that the US labels a terror organization. However, the polling showed the percentage of support for Israel increasing by age group.

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Fifty-five percent of 18- to 24-year-olds said they supported Israel, while 65 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds said the same. Seventy-five percent of 35- to 44-year-olds said they supported Israel, and 95 percent of voters older than 65 years old said the same.

“When asked the clear question on whether voters support Israel or Hamas, Americans give a clear answer that they support Israel and proposed congressional aid,” said Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll.

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“They also support four-hour pauses and other help to those in Gaza but believe Israel has the right to continue its campaign unless hostages are released.”

Calls for a cease-fire have grown as the Palestinian death toll reaches over 11,000 in Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza. The war started last month after Hamas launched a terror attack on Israel, killing roughly 1,200 people. 

President Biden and his administration have been largely supportive of Israel, despite the growing criticism against the country’s bombardment in Gaza and calls for a cease-fire. 

According to the latest Harvard CAPS-Harris poll, 66 percent of voters said Biden should support Israel and not pull back. However, younger voters also were more likely to say Biden should pull back his support, the poll found. Sixty-one percent of 18- to 24-year-olds said Biden should pull back, while 84 percent of voters over 65 years old said he should support Israel. 

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The divide between younger and older voters on the matter continues when it comes to calls for a cease-fire. Sixty-four percent of 18- to 24-year-olds, 66 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds and 71 percent of 35- to 44-year-olds say a cease-fire is right.

But that number starts to decrease amid older voters. Forty-four percent of 45- to 54-year-olds, 50 percent of 55-to 65-year-olds and 57 percent of voters older than 65 said a cease-fire is wrong because it gives more power to Hamas. 

The latest findings come as other polls show Biden’s standing among young voters plummeting, with many blaming him for his handling of the war in Gaza. An NBC News poll released on Sunday showed Biden’s approval rating among 18- to 34-year-olds at 31 percent, down from 46 percent in September. 

The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll was conducted between Nov. 15-16 with 2,851 respondents surveyed. It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and the Harris Poll. Results were weighted for age within gender, region, race/ethnicity, marital status, household size, income, employment, education, political party, and political ideology where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

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