Poll: Americans By 49% To 19% Blame Hamas Supporters For Gaza Flotilla Bloodshed, Not Israel
June 9, 2010


A new poll has shown that 49% of Americans blame the violent pro-Palestinian Hamas supporters on board the Mavi Mamara ship belonging to the Gaza flotilla for last week’s bloodshed, while only 19% of Americans blame Israel for the violence. The poll, conducted by Rasmussen Reports during June 3-4, also found that 49% of Americans believe that most other countries are too critical of Israel, as against 21% who think they are not critical enough. The poll also showed that 33% of Americans regard the U.S. as insufficiently supportive of Israel within the United Nations and other international forums, as against 24% who think America too supportive and 32% who believed neither to be the case (‘Toplines – Israel – June 3-4, 2010,’ Rasmussen National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters, Conducted June 3-4, 2010,’ Rasmussen Reports).


These results are consistent with previous polls showing that most Americans support Israel over the Palestinians and regard the Obama Administration’s policy towards Israel to be insufficiently supportive or otherwise flawed:


·        April 2010 Quinnipiac University survey found that 44% of the American public disapprove of the Obama policy towards Israel and the Palestinians; two-thirds of people questioned in the survey say that President Obama should be a strong supporter of Israel but, by a 42% to 34% margin, voters say he is not (‘Senate Should Ratify Nuclear Disarmament Treaty, U.S. Voters Tell Quinnipiac University National Poll; Obama Not Strong Enough On Israel, Voters Say,’ Quinnipiac University survey, April 22, 2010).


·        February 2010 Israel Project survey found 56% of Americans say that U.S. should side with Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians, as opposed to 15% who believe the U.S. should side with the Palestinians against the Israelis, a margin of support for Israel of 8 to 1 (Israel Project Frequency Questionnaire, February 20-24, 2010).


·        February 2010 Gallup Annual World Affairs survey found that, for the first time since 1991, more than 6 in 10 Americans — 63% — say their sympathies in the Middle East situation lie more with the Israelis than with the Palestinians, as against 15% who favored the Palestinians and 23% who favored both sides (Lydia Saad, ‘Support for Israel in U.S. at 63%, Near Record High,’ Gallup, February 24, 2010).


·        Israel Project survey, December 2009 found that 61% of Americans support the United States coming to the military defense of Israel if it strikes Iranian nuclear facilities and Iran retaliates; more than two-thirds of Americans – 68% – support the United States coming to Israel’s military defense if Iran uses Hamas and Hezbollah to strike Israel, and Israel then attacks Iran in response (Israel Project December National Survey, December 14-16, 2009).


·        September 2009 Israel Project poll showed 59% of Americans describing themselves either as a “strong supporter of Israel” or a “supporter of Israel,” as opposed to just 8% who describe themselves as supporting the Palestinians’; Americans support by 72% to 23% Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement that “Israel would not build any new settlements in the West Bank, but that Israel must be allowed to accommodate natural growth of existing settlements” (Israel Project poll, Aug. 22-25, 2009, conducted by Neil Newhouse, a Republican, of Public Opinion Strategies, and Stanley Greenberg, a Democrat, of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, ‘U.S. poll shows strong Israel support,’ Jewish Telegraphic Agency, September 7, 2009).


·        June 2009 Rasmussen poll showed that 35% percent of Americans believe that Obama is not supportive enough of Israel, whereas only 10 percent believe that he is too supportive, while 48 percent think he has the balance right (‘Toplines – Israel & Palestine – June 21-22, 2009,’ Rasmussen National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters Conducted June 21-22, 2009).


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “This poll, only days after the Gaza flotilla incident and the barrage of anti-Israel coverage of the event, shows that the American people, by and large, have seen through the media barrage to the issues, understand that Israel is under assault and that the blame for the violence and bloodshed aboard the Gaza flotilla should be laid where it belongs – upon the shoulders of the violent Hamas supporters who deliberately planned and initiated violence against a lawful Israeli inspection of their ship – not upon Israel.


“More broadly, this poll also shows, as the many others cited do, that Americans basically understand Israel is under assault and support it over the Palestinians. It also shows, consistent with previous polls, that a plurality of Americans find the Obama Administration’s policy to be insufficiently supportive of Israel.”


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