Reuters/Ipsos Survey: Israel Hamas War

Americans want to help civilians in Gaza get out of harm's way and support for the U.S. supporting Israel's position has risen since the 2014 conflict with Hamas.

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Director, US, Public Affairs
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Washington DC, October 16, 2023 — A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds that two-thirds of Americans report following the situation in Israel and Gaza closely, with about one in three Americans following the situation very closely (30%). About half of Americans say that Hamas is most responsible for the current conflict and four in five Americans view Hamas as a terrorist organization. More than three in five Americans view Israel favorably, and support for Israel's position is up from the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas. Four in five Americans say that civilians fleeing Gaza should be allowed to flee to a safe country, and about four in five Americans say Americans diplomats should be working on a plan to allow civilians fleeing Gaza to move to a safe country.  

Key Findings:

  • Two-thirds of American report following the situation in Israel and Gaza closely, with about one in three Americans is following the situation very closely (30%).  
  • When presented a series of options for American involvement in the conflict between the Israelis and Hamas in Gaza, more Americans (41%) say the U.S. should support Israel’s position than any other option. Republicans (54%) are more likely to say this than Democrats (37%).
    • About a quarter of Americans (27%) say the U.S. should be a neutral mediator, one in five Americans (21%) say the U.S. should not be involved at all, 10% say “none of these”, and 2% of Americans say the U.S. should support the Palestinians.
    • In 2014, 22% of Americans said the U.S. should support Israel's position in a conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza, and one-third of Americans (36%) said the U.S. should be a neutral mediator, and 27% said the U.S. should not be involved. 
       

Israel Hamas conflict 2014 to 2023

  • Just under half of Americans (49%) say that Hamas is most responsible for the current conflict, and this includes an equal share of Democrats (52%) and Republicans (52%). The next largest percentage of Americans say “None of these” (19%). Eighty-three percent of Americans say it’s clear Hamas is a terrorist organization – Republicans (88%) and Democrats (90%) are equally likely to agree.  
  • Sixty-four percent of Americans view Israel favorably. A majority of both parties view the country favorably, but Republicans (76%) are more likely than Democrats (59%) to say this, and Republicans’ feelings are stronger, with 36% saying they view Israel “very favorably” compared to 20% of Democrats.
    • Americans are less likely to view other countries in the region favorably: Egypt is viewed favorably by 45% of Americans, Saudi Arabia is viewed favorably by just over a quarter of Americans(28%), and just one in ten Americans view Iran favorably (12%).
  • Eighty-seven percent of Americans say that civilians fleeing Gaza should be allowed to flee to a safe country, with large majorities of both Democrats (94%) and Republicans (84%) agreeing with this statement. Seventy-eight percent of Americans say American diplomats should actively be working on a plan to allow civilians fleeing fighting in Gaza to move to a safe country. Eighty-one percent of Americans say that Israel should avoid killing civilians in retaliatory strikes against Hamas, with majority support from both parties, but Democrats (93%) are more likely to agree than Republicans (76%). 

Americans support helping Gazans flee

  • Sixty-seven percent of Americans say that the U.S. must support democratic countries when they are attacked. Democrats (81%) are more likely to agree than Republicans (58%) on this point.  
  • Americans are generally worried about civilians being killed in military conflict (89%). Eighty-two percent are worried generally about the Israeli people, 75% are worried about the Palestinian people, and 81% are worried about the Ukrainian people, as a comparison point.  
  • Americans are also worried about American military personnel in the Middle East (85%) and in Europe (75%). Eighty-four percent of Americans are also worried about an escalation of the fighting in the Middle East.  
  • When it comes to helping resolve the conflict and bring peace to the Middle East, 33% of Americans say neither Trump nor Biden could broker peace in the Middle East, 32% say Trump, and 26% say Biden, 8% say they don’t know.

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 12-13, 2023, on behalf of Thomson Reuters. For this survey, a sample of 1,003 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The sample also includes 432 Democrats, 353 Republicans, and 128 independents.

The sample was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel, partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2022 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, education and political party affiliation. 

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,003, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-5.3 percentage points).

The poll also has a credibility interval of plus or minus 5.8 percentage points for Democrats, plus or minus 6.4 percentage points for Republicans, and plus or minus 10.6 percentage points for independents.   

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Chris Jackson
Senior Vice President, US
Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2025
[email protected]

Annaleise Lohr
Director, US
Public Affairs
[email protected]

 

About Ipsos

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Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. Our 75 solutions are based on primary data from our surveys, social media monitoring, and qualitative or observational techniques.

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The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Director, US, Public Affairs

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