Majority In U.S. Disapprove Of Israel's War In Gaza, New Poll Finds

Americans have soured on Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip, reflecting shifting attitudes toward Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government as it vows to expand its military campaign deeper south into the Palestinian city of Rafah.

According to a Gallup survey released on Wednesday, 55% of Americans now disapprove of Israel’s actions, while only 36% approve. The drop in support for Israel’s military campaign is evident in all three major party groups, including an 18-point drop in approval among both Democrats and independents and a seven-point decline among Republicans.

In November, after the militant group Hamas launched its deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel and captured dozens of Israeli hostages, Gallup found that 50% of Americans approved of Israeli military actions while 45% disapproved.

The war has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Palestinians and over 1,000 Israelis. Large parts of Gaza have been destroyed by Israel’s bombing campaign, and many Palestinians are on the brink of famine.

Tensions between the U.S. and Israel over its approach to Gaza have boiled over in recent weeks. On Monday, Netanyahu canceled a delegation to Washington, D.C., after the U.S. declined to veto a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. U.S. officials have also warned that Israel risks further global isolation if it invades Rafah, where more than a million Gazans have taken refuge in makeshift shelters.

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden said he believed that Netanyahu is “hurting Israel more than helping Israel” and urged him to “pay more attention to the innocent lives being lost as a consequence of the actions taken.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the highest-ranking Jewish official in the U.S., also rebuked Netanyahu in a sharply critical speech this month, calling on Israel to change course and hold new elections.

Netanyahu has resisted U.S. pressure so far, pledging to expand Israeli military actions into Rafah.

“We have no way to defeat Hamas without going into Rafah and eliminating the rest of the battalions there. And I told [U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken] that I hope we will do it with the support of the U.S., but if we have to — we will do it alone,” Netanyahu said.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump, the presumptive 2024 GOP presidential nominee, urged Israel to “finish up” the war in Gaza and “get the job done” in a Monday interview with Israel Hayom, an Israeli news outlet.

Trump, a staunch supporter of Netanyahu, told the outlet that Israel “has to be very careful” because it is “losing a lot of support” due to its bombing campaign in Gaza. He seemed to fault Israel’s Defense Ministry for releasing photos and videos of bombs being dropped on Gaza, referring to it as “a bad image.”

“I think Israel made a very big mistake,” Trump said. “I wanted to call [Israel] and say don’t do it. These photos and shots. I mean, moving shots of bombs being dropped into buildings in Gaza.”

“And I said, Oh, that’s a terrible portrait. It’s a very bad picture for the world,” he added. “The world is seeing this … every night, I would watch buildings pour down on people. It would say it was given by the Defense Ministry, and said whoever’s providing that that’s a bad image.”