More than four in ten Americans say that Israel’s military actions in Gaza are justified, while about a quarter say that Israel has gone too far, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows.
In the new poll, 44 percent of respondents said that they believe Israel is defending its interests and that its actions are justifiable. Twenty-four percent said that Israel’s military actions are not justified, while 32 percent said they don’t know enough to have an opinion.
The American public’s views about U.S. support for Israel and Palestine also remain virtually unchanged from last year.
In the survey, 34 percent of respondents said that the United States should favor Israelis over Palestinians, while just four percent said the opposite. About half – 53 percent – said that the United States should treat Israelis and Palestinians the same.
Those numbers are nearly identical to the results of a NBC/WSJ poll in February of last year, when 31 percent said the United States should favor Israel, four percent said Americans should support Palestine more, and 55 percent said both should support both equally.
While the United States remains a staunch ally of Israel, United Nations and American officials have issued their strongest statements to date in recent days condemning the violence's impact on civilians. “We once again stress that Israel must do more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said earlier this week after an IDF airstrike targeting three militants killed at least ten people outside a U.N.-run school. "The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians."
The poll was conducted between July 30 and August 3. The margin of error for questions about the conflict in Gaza is +/- 4.4%
First published August 5 2014, 9:00 AM
Carrie Dann is a national political writer for NBCNews.com. She has worked for NBC and NBCNews.com since 2006. Dann writes about politics and Congress. Dann rejoined the web team after 18 months as a campaign reporter for NBC News, covering presidential and vice presidential candidates during the 2012 election. She also covered the 2007-2008 presidential campaign for NBC, including extensive reporting on the Iowa caucuses.
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Prior to her work at NBCNews.com, Dann was a staff reporter at CongressDaily, where she covered lobbying and government reform.
A Virginia native, she now lives in Washington, D.C.