Half of US adults say Israel has gone too far in war in Gaza, AP-NORC poll shows


WASHINGTON (AP) — Half of U.S. adults say Israel’s 15-week-old military campaign in Gaza has “gone too far,” a finding driven mainly by growing disapproval among Republicans and political independents, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Broadly, the poll shows support for Israel and the Biden administration’s handling of the situation ebbing slightly further across the board. The poll shows 31% of U.S. adults approve of Biden’s handling of the conflict, including just 46% of Democrats. That’s as an earlier spike in support for Israel following the Hamas attacks Oct. 7 sags.

Melissa Morales, a 36-year-old political independent in Runnemede, New Jersey, says she finds herself watching videos and news from Gaza daily. Images of Palestinian children wounded, orphaned or unhoused by the fighting in Gaza make her mind go to her own 3-year-old boy.

“I just can’t even imagine, like, my son roaming the streets, wanting to be safe. Wanting his mom. Or just wanting someone to get him,” she said.

Israel’s offensive has gone too far, Morales says, and so has the Biden administration’s support for it. Biden has supported Israel militarily and diplomatically since the first hours after the Hamas group’s Oct. 7 attacks, which Israel says killed 1,200 people. Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada and the European Union.

The U.S. has become increasingly isolated in its support of Israel as the Palestinian death toll rises past 27,000, with two-thirds of the victims women and children. The Biden administration says it is pressing Israel to reduce its killing of civilians and allow in more humanitarian aid.

“These kids … they’re needing the end of this,” Morales said. “It’s such an unfair fight.”

John Milor, a cybersecurity expert in Clovis, California, who describes himself as a Republican-voting independent, says he remains “100%” behind Israel.

But Milor notices more young people in his circle speaking out against Israel. A visit to a family friend led to Milor being aghast when the man’s stepson denounced Israelis as “warmongers.”

“And I’m like, ”You’re kidding, right?”‘ Milor recounted.

‘’It’s not like they asked to be attacked, you know,” Milor said by phone this week. “And they still have hostages over there.”

The poll shows 33% of Republicans now say Israel’s military response has gone too far, up from 18% in November. Fifty-two percent of independents say that, up from 39%. Sixty-two percent of Democrats say they feel that way, roughly the same majority as in November.

In all, 50% of U.S. adults now believe Israel’s military offensive has gone beyond what it should have, the poll found. That’s up from 40% in an AP-NORC poll conducted in November.

The new poll was conducted from Jan. 25 to 28. That overlapped with the killing of three U.S. troops in Jordan, the first deaths among American service members in what’s been widening regional conflict since Oct. 7. U.S. officials blamed a drone strike by a Hamas-allied militia.

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