update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

NPR poll: Americans evenly divided over Israel’s response to Oct. 7 attack

Israeli reserve soldiers at their artillery unit stationed near the southern border with Gaza on Nov. 13, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Israeli reserve soldiers at their artillery unit stationed near the southern border with Gaza on Nov. 13, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll of 1,429 adults, released on Wednesday, offers insight into American views on Israel’s war to uproot Hamas from the Gaza Strip.

Public opinion has split in approving Israel’s military response to the Oct. 7 terror attacks, with notable partisan differences.

For Americans as a whole, 38% said Israel’s response has been “too much”—up 12% from a month ago—with another 38% believing that it has been “about right.” Among Democrats, a majority (56%) now falls into the latter category, while 52% of Republicans approved Israel’s efforts to oust Hamas.

GOP numbers have risen 8% in the last month with some shifting from “too little” to “about right.”

Racial and generational differences manifested in the polling. Those self-described as non-white were 15% more likely to fall into the “too much” category. Likewise, those under 45 were 17% more likely to oppose the intensity of Israel’s self-defense.

While Americans may disagree with some of Israel’s actions in the conflict, a strong majority sympathize more with the Jewish state (61%) than the Palestinians (30%). Independents and Republicans drive this view, with Democrats split on the question 45% to 45%. Generational and racial divides on this question mirror those on Israel’s response.

On the subject of U.S. funding for Israel’s war against Hamas, 36% of Americans oppose support for the Jewish state and Ukraine, while 35% approve of sending money and arms to both. Some Americans remain divided about funding one war over another—14% want to fund only Israel, while 12% want to aid just Ukraine.

The poll, conducted from Nov. 6-9, has a margin of error of 3.4%.

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