Photo Credit: Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Janae Chambers
Navy Airman signals a Sea Hawk helicopter for takeoff aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower off Israel’s Mediterranean shore, Oct. 30, 2023.

Fifty-five percent of the participants in a new Wall Street Journal survey expressed the belief that Israel is taking necessary military measures to defend itself and prevent potential attacks by Hamas. In contrast, 25% of respondents think that Israel’s military actions are disproportionate and go beyond what is necessary.

Approximately 42% of participants indicated greater sympathy toward the Israeli people, while only 12% expressed similar sentiments toward the “Palestinians.” The perspectives on the conflict in the US reveal divisions along partisan and generational lines as the fighting enters its third month.


The WSJ poll discovered that age and party affiliation played a role in shaping sentiments toward Israelis and Palestinians. Nearly a quarter of Democrats expressed greater sympathy for “Palestinians,” while 17% leaned towards the Israelis. Just under half claimed equal sympathy for both groups.

In contrast, more than two-thirds of Republicans showed more sympathy for Israelis, with only 2% favoring “Palestinians” and 17% expressing sympathy for both groups.

The overall results:

Total: Sympathize with the Israelis – 42%; with the “Palestinians” – 12%; with both equally – 33%

Democrats: Sympathize with the Israelis – 17%; with the “Palestinians” – 24%; with both equally – 48%

Sympathize with the Israelis – 69%; with the “Palestinians” – 2%; with both equally – 17%

Sympathize with the Israelis – 35%; with the “Palestinians” – 11%; with both equally – 34%

Ages 18-34:
Sympathize with the Israelis – 31%; with the “Palestinians” – 23%; with both equally – 31%

Ages 65+:
Sympathize with the Israelis – 53%; with the “Palestinians” – 6%; with both equally – 32%

The WJS poll surveyed 1,500 registered voters from Nov. 29 to Dec. 4 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. The survey was conducted through landline and cellphone interviews, and some respondents were reached by text and invited to take the poll online.

Respondents held varying opinions on whether the US is providing adequate support to both Israelis and “Palestinians.” A little over 20% believed that the US was offering excessive support to the Israelis, while 25% thought the support was insufficient, and just over a third felt it was appropriate.

Regarding support for the “Palestinians,” 21% of respondents thought the US was providing excessive support, while about a quarter felt it was insufficient, and just under a third believed the support was appropriate.

Republicans overwhelmingly expressed confidence that Israel is taking necessary military action for self-defense, and a slim majority of independents shared this view. In contrast, nearly half of Democrats believed that Israel’s actions were disproportionate.


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