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Poll: Democrats Split on Whether Israel’s Actions Are Justified

Today’s CNN/ORC International poll shows solid American support for Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense. Fifty-seven percent say Israel’s strikes in Gaza are justified, compared with 25 percent who disagree. That support is even higher among independents and Republicans, but substantially lower among Democrats:

A majority of Americans say that Israel’s current military strikes against Gaza are justified, according to a new national survey.

A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday indicates that 57% of the public says Israel is justified in taking military action in Gaza against Hamas, with one in four saying the attacks are unjustified.

“Although most Americans think the Israeli actions are justified, there are key segments of the public who don’t necessarily feel that way,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Only four in ten Democrats think the Israeli actions in Gaza are justified, compared to 74% of Republicans and 59% of independents. Support for Israel’s military action is 13 points higher among men than among women, and 15 points higher among older Americans than among younger Americans.”

Democrats are divided on the question, with 41 percent saying Israel’s actions are justified and 36 percent saying they’re unjustified. Another 23 percent say they have no opinion. The gulf between Democratic opinions on the operation and broader public opinion is notable, especially considering President Obama’s public support for Israeli self-defense. However, the Obama administration has also expressed strong opposition to an Israeli ground invasion, publicly and behind-the-scenes.


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