While the American public at large sides overwhelmingly with Israel in its war against Hamas in Gaza, younger Americans are more likely to blame the Jewish state than Hamas for the recent outbreak for the recent outbreak of violence in the Gaza Strip.
A Pew Research Center survey published on Tuesday showed mostly favorable opinions for Israel’s military campaign among the general public. Asked which party bears responsibility for the current crisis, 40 percent of overall respondents blamed Hamas, versus only 19% who blamed Israel. Fourteen percent said both sides were responsible and 28% said they didn’t know.
However, a much larger proportion of respondents under the age of 30 tended to see Israel as the guilty party. In that age bracket, 29% said Israel was to blame, while 21% blamed Hamas and 35% said they don’t know who was most at fault.
When it came to Israel’s ongoing military campaign in Gaza, launched by the IDF to stem rocket fire from the Strip and counter cross-border attack tunnels into Israel, 25% said that the IDF had gone too far in its attacks, while 35% agreed the Israeli response is “about right” and 15% said it had not gone far enough.
Ethnicity also played a part in the responses. While 47% of white respondents blamed Hamas for the crisis and just 14% blamed Israel, 27% of blacks found Israel to be the responsible party, versus 25% who blamed Hamas.
Among Hispanics there was a clearer division, with 35% blaming Israel and just 20% saying that Hamas was responsible.
Since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8, Palestinian sources report, over 1,100 Gazans have been killed during the military offensive. Israel says the dead include hundreds of armed combatants.
As of Tuesday morning, Israel had lost 53 soldiers, two Israeli civilians, and a Thai agricultural worker.