Tag Archive for: Harvard-Harris poll

72 Percent of the Youngest Voters Support Israel

Information on the latest poll of American attitudes on Israel, Hamas, and Gaza can be found here: “Vast Majority of American Voters Back Israel in War Again Hamas, New Poll Reveals,” by Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, February 28, 2024:

A heavy majority of respondents — 78 percent — agreed that Hamas needed to be removed from governing Gaza. Asked about who should administer the territory after the war, 34 percent answered Israel, while 39 percent expressed support for a new authority created by Arab states. Only 28 percent believed that the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA) should govern in a post-war scenario.

Nearly four out of five Americans polled believe that Hamas should be removed altogether from any future position of authority in Gaza. As for alternatives, more than one-third wanted Israel to administer Gaza (which the Israelis do not want to do; they only want to ensure that Hamas does not make a comeback in the Strip). Nearly 40 percent want the Arab states — meaning the rich Arab states that will be largely responsible for the reconstruction in Gaza that will take years — to appoint a new authority in Gaza, neither Hamas nor the PA, but a group of technocrats whom the Arab donor states can keep a close eye on, making sure that there is no repetition of the colossal corruption that has been such a feature of Hamas rule in Gaza, where just three of its leaders — Khaled Meshaal, Ismail Haniyeh, and Mousa abu Marzouk — managed to steal for themselves a total of $11 billion. And Americans are suspicious, too, of the Palestinian Authority, because it has been a despotism ruled by the corrupt Mahmoud Abbas, who with his sons Tarek and Yasser has acquired a family fortune of $400 million. Abbas is in the nineteenth year of his four-year-term. When dissidents against his rule acquire a following, he does not hesitate to murder them, as he ordered the murder of the late Nizar Banat. Only 28 percent of those polled saw any role at all for the Palestinian Authority in Gaza after the Israel-Hamas war ends.

The poll also examined voter attitudes towards the wider region, with 80 percent agreeing that US forces in the Middle East are facing attacks from local terrorist groupsUS President Joe Biden’s policy towards Iran has also attracted significant criticism, with 54 percent answering that the US response to attacks launched by Iranian-backed terrorist organizations in Yemen, Syria and Iraq had been “too weak.” Pressed further on whether Biden’s Iran policy had been “successful,” 61 percent answered negatively….

More than half of those polled think that Biden has been “too weak” in responding to attacks by Iran-backed terrorists in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. It is obvious that the attacks on the Houthis have had no effect in slowing down, much less in ending, attacks by the Houthis on commercial shipping near and in the Red Sea. The Houthis have even launched drone attacks on American warships. Those polled want a more muscular policy toward Iran’s proxies. which makes one wonder if they would be willing to support a preemptive strike on Iran, as it creeps ever closer to being able to make a nuclear bomb. That question, however, was not asked.

Among 18-24 year olds, support for Israel stood at 72 percent, and at 66 percent among voters aged 25-34. More than 90 percent of voters over 55 declared their support for Israel.

The loss of support for Israel among the young has been greatly exaggerated. In fact, 72 percent of the youngest voters, 18-24 year olds, support Israel, and the figure dips just a little, to 66 percent, among those 25 to 34. Too many people have assumed that those noisy campus pro-Hamas protesters who garner such media attention reflect the views of a great many young people; it turns out that they do not.

However, a majority of 18-24 year olds — 53 percent — expressed backing for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza irrespective of whether the hostages are released, while the majority of older voters remained opposed. Among the over 55s, more than 80 percent said they were opposed to a ceasefire absent the release of the hostages….

This is the only response that is a bit worrisome. A slight majority — 53 percent — of the youngest voters support an immediate ceasefire, whether Hamas releases the hostages or not. Clearly the freeing of the hostages does not loom as large in the minds of the young as it does among the older people polled, A reflection, perhaps, of the wisdom that some say comes with age?

More than half of the young voters, in the 18-34 age groups, want Israel to continue its ground invasion, which means, since the poll was taken on February 20-21, they support an attack on Hamas operatives in Rafah.

The younger voters are still on Israel’s side. The two key figures are these: Of the 18-24 age group, 72 percent support Israel, and of the 25-34 age group, 66 percent support Israel. And that is despite the malign coverage in so much of the media.



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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.