Poll: 57 percent of Americans back Israel in current Gaza conflict

A poll showed a majority of Americans backing Israel’s launch of a retaliatory attack on the Gaza Strip.

Asked whether “Israel was justified or unjustified in taking military action against Hamas and the Palestinians in the area known as Gaza,” 57 percent responded “Yes, justified” and 25 percent answered “No, not justified,” according to a CNN poll published Nov. 19.

The poll also showed a substantial disparity between Democrats and Republicans, according to CNN, with 40 percent of Democrats choosing “justified” as opposed to 74 percent among Republicans and 59 percent among independents.

The poll, carried out by ORC International in 1,023 phone interviews Nov. 16-18, has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Israel launched air and naval attacks on Gaza on Nov. 14 after an intensification of rocket fire from Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas. A cease-fire was to begin at midnight on Nov. 21.

Meanwhile, in a Gallup poll, Americans cited keeping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon among the top three priorities of President Obama’s second term.

Gallup asked respondents to rank the importance of 12 issues; preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon was cited by 79 percent of respondents as the country’s third most important priority, after the economy and job market, and the long-term stability of Social Security and Medicare.

Gallup polled 1,009 adults by phone Nov. 9-12. The results have a margin of error of 4 percentage points. — jta