Americans Overwhelmingly Support Israel Over Hamas: Poll

(Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
January 22, 2024

An overwhelming majority of Americans supports Israel in the Jewish state's war against Hamas, according to a poll released Monday.

Eighty percent of the 2,346 registered voters in the poll from Harvard University's Center for American Political Studies, HarrisX, and the Harris Poll said they supported Israel over the terror group, while 20 percent said they supported Hamas. Although the percentage who supported Israel over Hamas is down 1 percent, many other indicators pointed to the American people's support of the Jewish state either not changing or increasing.

Two-thirds said that Israel is not committing genocide in Gaza and is just trying to defend itself and eliminate Hamas, up 3 percent since last month. A similar percentage also said they believed that Hamas could not be negotiated with and is dedicated only to the destruction of Israel. Two-thirds of the respondents also said that a ceasefire in the conflict should happen only after the release of all the hostages Hamas took on Oct. 7 and after the group is no longer in power, a measure that is likewise up 3 percent from last month.

At the same time, 2 percent fewer respondents said this month than in December that Hamas needed "to be removed from running Gaza." Additionally, 30 percent said that Israel should control Gaza after the war, 31 percent said the Palestinian Authority should administer the enclave, and 39 percent said a new authority set up in conjunction with Arab nations should be in control. The percentage who wanted Israel to be in power in Gaza fell by 4 percent, while those who wanted the Palestinian Authority rose by the same number.

Younger voters are also less approving of Israel's actions in the conflict. Fifty-seven percent of voters aged 18-24 said Israel was committing genocide, as did half of those ages 25-34. Additionally, 63 percent of the former favored an unconditional ceasefire, while 54 percent of the latter felt the same way. Still, all age groups broadly agreed that Hamas wants to commit genocide against Jews in Israel and supported Israel over Hamas.

Researchers this month introduced a collection of new questions focused on attacks from Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis—who 77 percent said were a terror group—on ships in the Red Sea. Almost three-quarters backed the retaliatory strikes on the group, while 84 percent said the United States and other countries should increase the strikes if the Houthis keep up their attacks. Majorities of all age groups shared those opinions.

Last month's poll from the three supervising organizations made headlines for the responses of young voters. In that survey, 51 percent of respondents ages 18-24 said Israel should be "ended" and turned over to Hamas and the Palestinians, while 67 percent of that age group said that Jews "as a class are oppressors and should be treated as oppressors." That same poll did, however, find traces of support for the Jewish state among young voters.