Poll finds Americans split on Biden's handling of Gaza war
A University of Maryland poll finds that Americans are also split on whether Israelis and Palestinians were responsible.
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images
July 30, 2021
A slight majority of Americans disapproved of President Joe Biden’s handling of the May war in Gaza, according to a University of Maryland poll published Thursday. The findings of the “Critical Issues Poll
” were based on a survey conducted in June and July.
Pollsters asked Americans about Biden’s efforts to end the fighting, leading with a reference to the “high level of civilian casualties and destruction.” Biden urged de-escalation
throughout the conflict, but refrained from vocal criticism of Israel to the chagrin of progressives in the Democratic Party. The survey found that 52.7% somewhat or highly disapproved of Biden’s handling of the war. But while 80.1% of Republicans disapproved of the president's actions, 72.3% of Democrats approved of them.
In the May war
between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, tensions in Jerusalem
resulted in Palestinian rocket fire into Israel and Israeli bombing of Gaza. The United Nations concluded 256 people
died in Gaza during the fighting, including 128 civilians. Twelve people in Israel were also killed
. There was also significant property destruction
in Gaza as a result of the airstrikes, alongside damage from rocket fire in Israel as well.
Just over 59% of Republicans said Palestinians were mostly responsible for the Israeli bombing of Gaza and rockets fired from Gaza into Israel. Among Democrats, 34.8% mostly blamed Israel, while only 8.1% mostly blamed the Palestinians. However, 52.5% of Democrats and 31.3% of Republicans said both Palestinians and Israelis were equally to blame.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is increasingly divisive in the United States. There were clashes
between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters in New York City during the war, in addition to attacks on Jews in Los Angeles.
The poll’s findings are consistent with shifts among Democrats toward more pro-Palestinian positions. Some members of Congress solely blamed Israel for the conflict. Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York accused Israel of “inciting violence” during the war, for example.
MORE FROM AL-MONITOR STAFF
Did whales originate in Egyptian waters?
Muhammed Magdy | Culture | Aug 31, 2021
Is Moscow using the S-400 against Turkey?
Semih Idiz | Turkey | Sep 3, 2021
Iraqi Kurdish leader helps ease Turkey-UAE tensions
Amberin Zaman | Turkey | Aug 31, 2021
Boxed in: Bennett, Abbas can’t win despite ‘goodwill gestures’
Week in Review | Israel | Sep 3, 2021
What Erdogan missed in skipping Baghdad conference
Fehim Tastekin | Turkey | Sep 2, 2021
Egypt's security forces harassing activists into silence, Amnesty says
Al-Monitor Staff | News Brief | Sep 17, 2021
Arrest warrant issued for ex-minister over Beirut blast
Al-Monitor Staff | Lebanon | Sep 16, 2021
Israel’s Bennett, Sheikh Jarrah twins make TIME 100 list
Al-Monitor Staff | Israel | Sep 16, 2021
Palestinian escapee allegedly beaten by Israeli forces after being recaptured
Al-Monitor Staff | Palestine | Sep 16, 2021
Europe, West threatened by atmospheric Jihadism and the entrepreneurs of wrath, says Gilles Kepel
Michael Oren: Israel must build case legitimizing possible action against Iran
Iraqis fear worse chaos amid waning US presence, says Bilal Wahab
Knesset member Yossi Shain: US needs to work with Israel on new regional alliances, Iran
Armenia expert Richard Giragosian: Peace between Armenia, Turkey more likely than before
© 2021 Al-Monitor, LLC. All rights reserved.