The public is growing tired of the Israel-Hamas war

U.S. citizens on all sides are starting to get fed up with the proxy war on terrorism through Israel.

Last year on Oct. 7, the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas invaded Israel’s southern border and slaughtered 1,200 civilians. Radical groups across American universities quickly rose to the defense and support of the Palestinians once it became clear that they woke up a lion. Since then, the rest of the country has been gradually shifting to their side as well. 

A Gallup poll found that approval of Israeli military actions in Gaza started off at 50% in November, but it fell to 36% in March. Likewise, disapproval increased from 45% in November to 55% in March. Only 4% had no opinion on the matter in November, but that number rose to 9% in March. In other words, Israel’s campaign has lost the approval of an extra 14%-15% of people. 

This has occurred across the political aisle, as well. The same poll found that Republican disapproval increased from 23% in November to 30% in March. Democrat disapproval also increased from 63% in November to 75% in March. The most shift in opinion was with Independents, who also increased in disapproval from 48% in November to 60% in March. 

Another poll by Pew Research Center found that, while sympathy for Israelis is still much higher overall than it is for Palestinians, the numbers are still quite low. On average, 31% of people sympathize with Israelis, and 16% sympathize with Palestinians, but 26% are sympathetic to both. 

Besides the correlation between age and favoritism, there is a large portion of every age group that is in the middle. Of people ages 18-29, 14% sympathize with Israelis, 33% sympathize with Palestinians, and 21% are sympathetic to both; 47% of those over 65 years old sympathize with Israelis, 9% sympathize with Palestinians, and 27% are sympathetic to both.

The tragic loss of innocent lives in this war is something that all sides generally tend to agree on. For Democrats, this is President Joe Biden’s fault as much as it is Israel’s or Hamas’s. For not pushing hard enough for a ceasefire and continuing to fund Israel, his approval rating on his handling of this conflict is lower than his total rating and the ratings of all other major criticisms levied against him. 

For Republicans, the concerns are more practical and political. There is a sizable portion that believes that funding yet another foreign war, alongside the Russo-Ukraine war, neglects the more pressing matters back home. Many on both sides are also worried that Israel’s expanded efforts will destabilize the entire Middle East. 

There is really no easy solution to the Israel-Hamas war. Israel cannot let up on its successful campaign against the cowardly Hamas fighters when it is so close to victory. However, it could be more transparent about all of its anti-terrorism intentions and perhaps more cautious. For example, attacking the Iranian Embassy in Damascus was a great way to provoke an already hostile Iranian regime, risking yet another humanitarian catastrophe and direct American involvement. 

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America likewise cannot stop funding Israel’s defenses. It is a vital ally in a dangerous region, and to dry up its resources sentences it to death and empowers our Middle Eastern enemies. However, Biden is between a rock and a hard place. He knows he cannot cut off Israel, but he knows he must cater to the growing pro-Palestinian support in his party as the election draws near. 

As the Israel-Hamas war prolongs, American interest and sympathy will continue to decline, and eventually, financial and military support may follow, throwing the Middle East into chaos once again. 

Parker Miller is a 2024 Washington Examiner Winter Fellow.

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