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The Hill
The Hill
21 Oct 2023
Caroline Vakil


NextImg:Americans overwhelmingly support Israel in war with Hamas: poll

More than 80 percent of Americans are siding with Israel amid an ongoing war against Hamas in a new Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll shared with The Hill.

The survey found that 84 percent of respondents sided more with Israel in the Israel-Hamas war, compared to 16 percent who sided with Hamas. 

Broken down by age, 52 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds said they sided more with Israel, while 48 percent said they sided more with Hamas. In contrast, 95 percent of respondents 65 years and older said they sided with Israel while 5 percent sided with Hamas.

The survey also found that roughly three-fourths of respondents — 76 percent — said Hamas’s killing of 1,200 Israeli civilians could not be justified by the grievances of Palestinians, while 24 percent said it could be justified. (Figures for the number of Israeli civilians killed during the war have risen from 1,200.)

The only age demographic to show a majority of its respondents saying that Hamas’s killings could be justified were respondents aged 18-to-24 years old. Fifty-one percent of that demographic said Hama’s killing could be justified by the grievances of Palestinians while 49 percent said they were not justified. 

Fifty-eight percent of those polled said that college students who blamed Israel for the violence killing 1,200 of their civilians were condoning violence and terrorism while 42 percent said those college students were not condoning violence and terrorism.

Just over half of respondents (55 percent), however, said that prospective employers should hire students who supported Hamas and the attacks on Israeli civilians, while 45 percent said those employers should refuse to hire those students. 

“There is strong support for Israel across all parties and against Hamas. They think Israel should not cease hostilities until they have weakened Hamas,” said Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll.

“However, those of college age are split on the Israel-Hamas issue [and] many of them do not believe Hamas committed any atrocities and that Israel was responsible for the hospital bombing. Seniors in contrast provide universal support for Israel,” he added.

The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll was conducted between Oct. 18 and Oct. 19 with 2,116 registered voters. It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and the Harris Poll.

The survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Poll and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.