Today, only 32% of Americans defend the Biden administration’s support for Israel
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. public support for Israel’s war against Hamas militants in Gaza is waning and most Americans think Israel should call a cease-fire in a conflict that has turned into a humanitarian crisis, according to a new report. Reuters/Ipsos poll.
About 32% of respondents in the two-day opinion poll, which ended Tuesday, said “the U.S. should support Israel” when asked what role the United States should take in the fighting. That was below the 41% who said the U.S. should support Israel in a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted Oct. 12-13.
The share saying “the US should be a neutral mediator” rose to 39% in the new survey, up from 27% the previous month. Four percent of survey respondents said the U.S. should support the Palestinians and 15% said the U.S. should not be involved, both readings similar to a month ago.
Israel has long relied on the US, its most powerful ally, for billions of dollars a year in military aid and international diplomatic support. An erosion of US public support could be a worrying sign for the Middle Eastern country, which is facing not only Hamas militants in Gaza but also the Islamic Hezbollah movement in Lebanon and which has been waging a long-running “shadow war” with Iran. , its regional arch-architect.
CONTINUES AFTER RECOMMENDATIONS
The drop in US support seen in the new poll among Democrats and Republicans and especially among older respondents follows weeks of heavy Israeli bombing and ground fighting against Hamas in Gaza in retaliation for the October 7 attack. by Islamic militants in southern Israel. . Around 1,200 people were killed and around 240 taken hostage.
Since then, more than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed, around 40% of them children, in Israel’s attack, according to counts by health officials in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
The Gaza crisis has sparked an international outcry that has focused in recent days on the collapse of medical infrastructure in the populous coastal enclave. Palestinians trapped inside Gaza’s largest hospital dug a mass grave on Tuesday to bury patients who died under the Israeli siege.
Some 68% of respondents to the Reuters/Ipsos poll said they agreed with the statement that “Israel should call for a ceasefire and try to negotiate.”
About three-quarters of Democrats and half of Republicans in polls supported the idea of a ceasefire, putting them at odds with Democratic President Joe Biden, who has rejected calls from Arab leaders, including the Palestinians, to pressure Israel into an agreement. stop fire.
Instead, the Biden administration has urged Israel to do everything possible to avoid civilian casualties, something Israel says it is doing.
Israel has so far rejected any talk of implementing longer pauses or a ceasefire, saying Hamas would simply use this time to regroup and harden its positions.
In a potentially worrying sign for Israel, only 31% of respondents said they supported sending weapons to Israel, while 43% opposed the idea. The rest said they weren’t sure. Support for sending weapons to Israel was strongest among Republicans, while about half of Democrats were opposed.
By comparison, 41% of poll respondents said they supported sending weapons to Ukraine in its fight against a nearly 21-month-old Russian invasion, compared with 32% who were opposed and the rest unsure. When it comes to Ukraine, support for sending weapons was strongest among Democrats.
While most moderate Democrats in Congress have long supported military assistance to Israel, some progressives in Biden’s own party have begun to question whether there should be greater scrutiny as well as the conditions attached to such aid.
U.S. officials have warned that funding for military aid to Ukraine is in short supply as the Republican-controlled House and Democratic-majority Senate remain at odds over the Biden administration’s request for billions more dollars in assistance to Kiev.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online and nationwide, gathering responses from 1,006 U.S. adults. It has a credibility interval, a margin of precision, of about four percentage points.