Saturday, April 20, 2024

Young Americans’ positive views of Israel fall by 26 percent: Poll

A new survey has found that young Americans' favourable views of Israel have fallen by more than 25 percent over the past year, amid Israel's war on Gaza which has so far killed nearly 31,000 Palestinians, mainly children and women.

The Gallup poll showed that 64 percent of young adults between the ages of 18-34 had favourable views of Israel in 2023. That percentage dropped to 38 percent in 2024 – a fall of 26 percent.

The same group’s favourable views towards the Palestinian Authority dipped only slightly, from 36 percent to 32 percent.

Overall, among all US adults polled, the positive views held about Israel still dropped significantly over the past year. In 2023, 68 percent of all adults polled by Gallup held favourable views of Israel, while in 2024 that figure dropped to 58 percent.

The new poll comes amid Israel’s ongoing war on Gaza, which began on 7 October when Hamas led an attack on southern Israel.

Israel then launched a full siege on Gaza alongside an aerial bombing campaign, followed by a ground invasion of the enclave.

So far, Israeli forces have killed more than 30,700 Palestinians, the majority of them women and children, and have targeted civilian infrastructure including schools, hospitals and UN shelters.

Most recently, rights groups have said that Israel is blocking aid and humanitarian assistance from entering parts of Gaza and reaching Palestinian civilians. Israel denies this, but the Joe Biden administration has begun to increase its criticism of the restrictions on aid.

Now, Palestinians are beginning to die not just from Israeli fire, but from starvation, dehydration and malnutrition.

The Gallup poll had further found that among the group of young Americans aged 18-34, 45 percent of them sympathise more with Palestinians, while 37 percent sympathise with Israel.

Over the past two decades, Israel has received largely favourable sentiments in the US. However, in the last several years polls have shown a slight shift in those views, with more Americans expressing sympathy with Palestinians.

Several polls over the past few months have found more Americans having critical views of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians both in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

The Wall Street Journal reported a poll on Sunday stating that a plurality of voters believe Israel has “gone too far” in its response to the 7 October attacks.

A December poll from The New York Times/Siena College found that half of young Americans believe Israel is intentionally killing civilians in Gaza. And a January poll from the Economist found that 35 percent of Americans believe Israel is committing a genocide against Palestinians.

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